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No. VI. 




THE 


ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


, 


BY 


LUDWIG FEUERBACH. 


ttrnnslut.eb fram tg.e 
.ctanh O).ermnn 
MHan, 


BY 


MARIAN EVANS, 


TBANSLATOB OF "STBAUS
S LIFE OF JESUS
 


LONDON: 
JOHN CHAP
IAN, 
8, KIN G WI L L I A 1\1 S T R E E T, S T RAN D. 


XDCCCLIV. 



LONDON: 
SAVILL AND EDWARDS. PRINTERS. CHANDOS STREET. 
COVENT GARDEN. 



PREFACE 


TO 


THE SECOND EDITION.* 


THE clamour excited by the present work has not surprised 
Ine, and hence it has not in the least moved me from my 
position. On the contrary, I have once more, in all cahnness, 
subjected my work to the severest scrutiny, both historical and 
philosophical; I have, as far as possible, freecl it from its 
defects of form, and enriched it with new developments, illustra- 
tions and historical testinlonies,-testimonies in the highest 
degree striking and irrefragable. Now that I have thus verified 
my analysis by historical proofs, it is to be hoped that readers 
whose eyes are not sealed will be convinced and will admit, even 
though reluctantly, that my work contains a faithful, correct 
translation of the Christian religion out of the oriental language 
of imagery into plain speech. And it has no pretension to be 
anything more than a close translation, or, to speak literally, 
an empirical or historico-philosophical analysis, a solution of 
the enigma of the Christian religion. The general propositions 
which I premise in the Introduction are no à priori, excogi- 
tated propositions, no products of speculation; they have 
arisen out of the analysis of religion; they are only, as in- 
tleed are all the fundamental ideas of the work, generalizations 


* The opening paragraphs of this Preface are omitted, as having too 

pecific a reference to transient German polemics to interest the Engli::;h 
reader. 



vi 


PREFACE. 


from the known manifestations of human nature, and in par- 
ticular of the religious consciousness,-facts converted into 
thoughts, i. e., expressed in general terms, and thus made the 
property of the understanding. The ideas of my work are only 
conclusions, consequences, drawn from premises which are not 
themselves mere ideas, but objective facts either actual or 
historical-facts which had not their place in my head simply 
in virtue of their ponderous existence in folio. I unconditionally 
repudiate absol'ute, immaterial, self-sufficing speculation,-that 
speculation which draws its material from within. I differ toto 
cælo from those philosophers who pluck out their eyes that 
they may see better; for rny thought I require the senses, 
especially sight; I found my ideas on materials which can be 
appropriated only through the activity of the senses. I do not 
generate the object from the thought, bl
t the thought from the 
object; and I hold that alone to be an object which has an exist- 
ence beyond one's own brain. I all1 an idealist only in the region 
of practical philosophy, that is, I do not regard the limits of 
the past and present as the limits of humanity, of the future; 
on the contrary, I firmly believe that many things-yes, many 
things-which with the short-sighted, pusillanimous practical 
men of to-day, pass for flights of imagination, for ideas never 
to be realized, for mere chimeras, will to-morrow, i.e., in the 
next century,-centuries in individual life are days in the life 
of humanity,-exist in full reality. Briefly, the "Idea" is 
to me only faith in the historical future, in the triumph of 
truth and virtue; it has for nle only a l)olitical and moral sig- 
nificance; for in the sphere of strictly theoretical philosophy, 
I attach myself, in direct opposition to the Hegelian philosophy, 
only to 'realisnt, to materialislll in the sense above indicated. 
The maxim hitherto adopted by speculative philosophy: all 
that is mine I carry with me, the old olnnia l1lea nWC1l1n po'rto, 
I cannot, alas! appropriate. I have many things outside my- 
self, ,,'hich I cannot convey either in my pocket or my head, 
but which nevertheless I look upon as belonging to me, not 
indeed as a mere man-a view not now in question-but as a 
philosopher. I anl nothing but a natzt1'((;llJhilosophc1" in thc 



PREFACE. 


Vll 


d01na in of ?nincl; anù the natural philosopher can do nothing 
without instruments, without material means. In this character 
I bave written the present work, which consequently contains 
nothing else than the principle of a new philosophy verified 
practically, i. e., in concreto, in application to a special object, but 
an object which has a universal significance: namely, to religion, 
in which this principle is exhibited, developed and thoroughly 
carried out. This philosophy is essentially distinguished from 
the systems hitherto prevalent, in that it corresponds to the real, 
complete nature of man; but for that very reason it is antagonistic 
to minds pervertell and crippled by a superhuman, i. e., anti- 
human, anti-natural religion anù speculation. It does not, as I 
have already said elsewhere, regard the pen as tbe only fit organ 
for the revelation of truth, but the eye and ear, the hand and foot; 
it does not identify the idea of the fact with the fact itself, so as 
to reduce real existence to an existence on paper, but it separates 
the two, and precisel)T by this separation attains to the fact itself; 
it recognises as the true thing, not the thing as it is an object 
of the abstract reason, but as it is an object of the real, cOlnplete 
man, and hence as it is itself a real, complete thing. This 
philosophy does not rest 011 an Understanding per Be, on an 
absolute, nameless understanding, belonging one knows not to 
whom, but on the understanding of man ;-t}lough not, I grant, 
on that of man enervated by speculation and dogma ;-and it 
speaks the language of nleu, not an empty, unknown tongue. 
Yes, both in substance anù in speech, it places philosophy in 
the negation of philosophy, i. e., it declares that alone to ùe the 
true philosophy which is converted in B'llCCUJ]li et sanglline1n, 
which is incarnate in 1\lan; and hence it finds its highest 
trÍl.unph in the fact that to all dull and pedantic minds, which 
place the essence of philosophy in the show of philosophy, it 
appears to be no philosophy at all. 
This philosophy has for its principle, not the Substance of 
Rpinoza, not the ego of Kant and Fichte, not the Absolutt) 
Identity of Schelling, not the Absolute 1\Iind of Hegel, in short, 
no abstract, merely conceptional being, but a 'real being, the 
true Ens 1'ealissinuon-lllan; its principle, therefore, is ill the 



Vlll 


PREFACE. 


highest degree positive and real. It generates thought from 
the opposite of thought, from J\Iatter, from existence, from the 
senses; it has relation to its object first through the senses, i. e., 
passively, before defining it in thought. Hence my work, as a 
specimen of this philosophy, so far from being a production to 
be placed in the category of Speculation,-although in another 
point of view it is the true, the incarnate result of prior philo- 
sophical systems,-is the direct opposite of speculation, nay, 
puts an end to it by eXplaining it. Speculation makes religion 
say only what it has itself thought, and expressed far better 
than religion; it assigns a meaning to religion without any refer- 
ence to the act'ltal meaning of religion; it does not look beyond 
itself. I, on the contrary, let religion itself speak; I constitute 
myself only its listener and interpreter, not its prompter. Not to 
invent, but to discover, "to unveil existence;' has been my sole 
object; to see correctly, my sole endeavour. It is not I, but re- 
ligion that worships man, although religion, or rather theology, 
denies this; it is not I, an insignificant individual, but religion it- 
self that says: God is man, man is God; it is not I, but religion 
that denies the God who is not man, but only an ens 'rationis,- 
since it makes God become man, and then constitutes this God, 
not distinguished from man, having a human form, human feel- 
ingsand human thoughts, the objectofitsworshipancl veneration. 
I have only found the key to the cipher of the Christian religion, 
only extricated its true meaning from the web of contradictions 
and delusions called theology ;-but in doing so I have certainly 
committed a sacrilege. If therefore my work is negative, 
jrreligious, atheistic, let it be remembered that atheism-at 
least in the sense of this work-is the secret of religion itself; 
that religion itself, not indeed on the surface, but fundamentally, 
not in intention or according to its own supposition, but in its 
heart, in its essence, believes in nothing else than the truth and 
divinity of human nature. Or let it be provccl that the his- 
torical as well as the rational arguments of my work are false; 
let them be reflItpd-not, however, I entreat, by judicial 
denunciations, or theological jeremiads, by the trite pbrases 
of speculation, or other llÍtiful expedients for which I have no 



PREFACE. 


IX 


name, but by 'reasons, and such reasons as I have not already 
thoroughly answered. 
Certainly, my work is negative, destructive; but, be it observed, 
only in relation to the unhuman, not to the human elements 
of religion. I t is therefore divided into two parts, of which 
the first is, as to its main idea,1Josith'e, the second, including 
the appenùix, not wholly but in the main, negative; in both, 
however, the same positions are proved, only in a different or 
rather opposite manner. The first exhibits religion in its essence, 
its truth, the second exhibits it in its contradictions; the first 
is development, the second polemic; thus the one is, according 
to the nature of the case, calmer, the other more vehement. 
Development advances gently, contest impetuously; for de- 
veloplnent is self-contented at every stage, contest only at the 
last blow. Development is deliberate, but contest resolute. 
Development is light, contestfi1
e. Hence results a difference 
between the two parts even as to their form. Thus in the first 
part I show that the true sense of Theology is Anthropology, 
that there is no distinction between the 1JJ.edicates of the divine 
and human nature, and, consequently, no distinction between 
the divine and human subject: I say consequently, for wherever, 
as is especially the case in theology, the predicates are not acci- 
dents, but express the essence of the subject, there is no distinc- 
tion between subject and predicate, the one can lJe put in the 
place of the other; on which point I refer the reader to the 
.A.nalytics of Aristotle, or even merely to the Introduction of 
Porphyry. In the second part, on the other hand, I show that 
the distinction which is made, or rather supposed to be made, 
between the theological and anthropological predicates, resolves 
itself into an absurdity. Here is a striking example. In the 
first part I prove that the Son of God is in 1'eligion a real son, 
the son of God in the same sense in which man is the son of 
man, and I find therein the tr'uth, the essence of religion, that 
it conceives and affirms a profoundly human relation as a divine 
relation; on the other hand, in the second part I bhow that the 
:Son of God-not indeed in religion, but in theology, which i
 
the reflection of religion upon itself,-is not a son in the natural, 
A3 



x 


PREFACE. 


human sense, but in an entirely different manner, contradictory 
to :Nature and reason, and therefore absurd, and I finù in this 
negation of human sense anù the human understanding, the 
negation of religion. Accordingly the first part is the direct, 
the second the indirect proof, that theology is anthropology: 
hence the second part necessarily has reference to the first; it 
has no independent significance; its only aim is to show, that 
the sense in ,vhich religion i
 interpreted in the previous part 
of the work 1n1lst be the true one, because the contrary is ab- 
surd. In brief, in the first part I am chiefly concerned with 
'religion, in the second with theology: I say chiefly, for it was 
impossible to exclude theology from the first part, or }'eligion 
from the second. .A mere glance will show that my investigation 
includes speculative theology or philosophy, and not, as has been 
here and there erroneously supposed, conunon theology only, a 
kind of trash from which I rather keep as clear as possible, 
(though, for the rest, I am sufficiently well acquainted with it,) 
confining myself always to the most essential, strict and neces- 
sary definition of the object, * and hence to that definition which 
gives to an object the most general interest, and raises it above 
the sphere of theology. But it is with theology that I have to 
do, not with theologians; for I can only undertake to charac- 
terize what is primary,-the original, not the copy, principles, 
not persons, species, not individuals, objects of history, not 
objects of the chroniql.le scandale'llse. 
If my work contained only the second part, it would be þer- 
fectly just to accuse it of a negative tendency, to represent the 
lwoposition: Religion is nothing, is an absurdity, as its essen- 
tial purport. But I by no means say (that were an easy task I) : 
God is nothing, the Trinity is nothing, the "\V ord of God is 
nothing, &0.; I only show that they are not that which the 
illusions of theology make them,-not foreign, but native mys- 
teries, the mysteries of human nature; I show that religion 
takes the apparent, the superficial in Nature and hUlllanity, for 


* For example, in considering the sacraments, I limit myself to two; 
for, in the strictest sense (see Luther, t. xvii. p. 558), there are no more. 



PREFACE. 


Xl 


the essential, and hence conceives their true essence as a sepa- 
rate, special existence: that consequently, religion, in the 
definitions which it gives of God, e. g., of the 'V ord of God,- 
at least in tho
e definitions which are not negative in the sense 
above alluded to,-only defines or milkes objective the true 
nature of the hUlnan word. The reproach that accorùing to IllY 
book, religion is an absurdity, a nullity, a pure illusion, would 
be \vell-founded only if, according to it, that into which I re- 
solve religion, which I prove to be its true object and substance, 
namely ?nan,-anthropology, were an absurdity, a nullity, a 
pure illusion. But so far from giving a trivial or even a sub- 
ordinate significance to anthropology,-a significance which is 
assigned to it only just so long as a theology stands above it 
and in opposition to it,-I, on the contrary, while reducing 
theology to anthropology, exalt anthropology into theology, 
very much as Christianity, while lowering God into man, made 
man into God; though, it is true, this human God was by a 
further process made a transcendental, imaginary God, remote 
from man. Hence it is obvious that I do not take the word 
anthropology in the sense of the Hegelian or of any other philo- 
SOI)hy, but in an infinitely higher and more general sense. 
Religion is the dream of the human mind. But even in 
dreams we do not find ourselves in emptiness or in heaven, but 
on earth, in the realm of reality; we only see real things in the 
entrancing splendour of imagination and caprice, instead of in 
the simple daylight of reality and necessity. Hence I do 
nothing more to religion-and to speculative philosophy and 
theology also-than to open its eyes, or rather to turn its gaze 
from the internal towards the external, i. e., I change the object 
as it is in the imagination into the objeet as it is in reality. 
But certainly for the pre
ent age, which prefers the sign to 
the thing signified, the copy to the original, fancy to reality, 
the appearance to the essence, this change, Ì1ulslnuch as it does 
away with illusion, is an absolute annihilation, or at least a 
reckless In'ofanation; for in these days illusion only is sacred, 
truth prof(tne. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in pro 
portion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the 



xu 


PREFACE. 


highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of 
sacredness. Religion has disappeared, and for it has Leen sub- 
stituted, even a1l10ng Protestants, the appearance of religion- 
the Church-in order at least that" the faith" may be imparted 
to the ignorant and indiscriminating multitude; that faith 
being still the Chl'istian, because the Christian churches stand 
now as they did a th.ousand years ago, and now, as fonnerly, 
the external signs of the faith are in vogue. That which has 
no longer any existence in faith (the faith of the modern world 
is only an ostensible faith, a faith which does not believe what 
it fancies that it believes, and is only an undecided, pusillani- 
mous unbelief-) is still to pass current as opinion: that which 
is no longer sacred in itself and in truth, is still at least to seem 
sacred. Hence the simulated religious indignation of the pre- 
sent age, the age of shows and illusion, concerning my analysis, 
especially of the Sacraments. But let it not be demanded of 
an author who prol)oses to hÍ1nself as his goal not the favour 
of his contemporaries, but only the truth, the unveiled, naked 
truth, that he sllould have or feign respect towarùs an empty 
nppearance, especially as the object which underlies this appear- 
ance is in itself the culminating point of religion, i. e., the point 
fit which the religious slides into the irreligious. Thus much in 
justification, not in excuse, of my analysis of the Sacraments. 
'Vith regard to the true bearing of IllY analysis of the sacra- 
Inents, especiaHy as presented in the concluding chapter, I only 
remark, that I therein illustrate by a palpable and visible ex- 
ample the essential purport, the peculiar theme of my work, that 
I therein call upon the senses themselves to witness to the truth 
of my analysis and myideas, and ùemonstrate ad oClllos, ad tac- 
tzt1n, acl gustu"m, what I have taught ad captllm throughout the 
previous pages. As, namely, the water of Baptism, the wine and 
òread of the Lord's Supper, taken in their natural power and 
significance, are and effect infinitely more than in a superna- 
turalistic, illusory significance; so the oùject of religion in 
general, conceived in the sense of this work, i. C., the anthropo- 
logical sense, is infinitely more productive and real, both in 
theory and practice, than when accepted in the sen.se of theo- 



PREFACE: 


XliI 


logy. For as that which is or is supposed to be imparted in the 
water, bread, ana wine, over anel above these natural substances 
themselves, is something in the inlagination only, but in truth, 
in reality, nothing; so also the object of religion in general, 
the Divine essence, in distinction from the essence of Nature 
and Humanity,-that is to say, if its attributes, as understand- 
ing, love, &c., are and signify something else than these attri- 
butes as they belong to man and N ature,-is only sOlnething in 
the imagination, but in truth and reality nothing. Therefore- 
this is the moral of the fable-we should not, as is the case 
in theology and speculative l)hilosophy, make real beings and 
things into arbitrary signs, vehicles, symbols, or predicates of 
a distinct, transcend ant, absolute, i. e., abstract being; but we 
should accept and undel
stand them in the significance which 
they have in themselves, which is identical with their qualities, 
with those conditions which make them \\
hat they are :-thuß 
only do we obtain the key to a (real theory {In(l practice. I, in 
fact, put in the place of the barren baptismal water, the bene- 
ficent effect of real water. How" watery," how trivial ! Yes, 
indeed, very trivial. But so J\Iarriage, in its time, was a very 
trivial truth, which Luther, on the ground of his natural good 
sense, maintained in opposition to the seemingly holy illusion 
of celibacy. But wl1ile I thus view water as a real thing, I at 
the same time intend it as a vehide, an image, an example, a 
symbol, of the" unholy" spirit of my work, just as the water 
of Baptism-the object of my analysis-is at once literal 
and symbolical water. It is the same with bread and wine. 
l\Ialignity has hence drawn the conclusion that bathing, eating 
and drinking are the SUl1una S'll'1n1narUJn, the positive result of 
my work. I make no other reply than this: if the whole of 
religion is contained in the Sacraments, and there are conse- 
quently no other religious acts than those which are performed 
in Baptislll and the Lord's Supper; then I grant that the entire 
purport and positive result of my work are bathing, eating aud 
drinking, since this work is nothing but a faithful, rigid histo- 
rico-philosophical analysis of religion-the revelation of reli- 
gion to itself, the a
()akening of (religion to self-consciousness. 



XIV 


PREFACE. 


I sayan historico-philosophical analysis, in distinction from 
a merely historical analysis of Christianity. The historical 
critic-such a one, for example, as Daumer or Ghillany-shows 
that the Lord's Supper is a rite lineally descended from the 
ancient Cultus of human sacrifice; that once, instead of bread 
and wine, real human flesh and blood were partaken. I, on 
the contrary, take as the object of my analysis and reduction 
only the Christian significance of the rite, that view of it which 
is sanctionecl in Christianity, and I proceed on the supposition 
that only that significance which a dogma or institution has in 
Christianity (of course in ancient Christianity, not in modern), 
whether it n1ay present itself in other religions or not, is also 
the trIte origin of that dogma or institution in so far as it is 
Christian. Again, the historical critic, as, for example, Lütz- 
elberger, shows that the narratives of the miracles of Christ 
resolve themselves into contradictions and absurdities, that 
they are later fabrications, and that consequently Christ was no 
miracle-,vorker nor, in general, that which he is represented to 
be in the Bible. I, on the other hand, do not inquire what the 
real, natural Christ was or may have been in distinction from 
what he has been Inade or has become in Supernaturalism; on 
the contrary, I accept the Christ of religion, but I show that 
this superhuman being is nothing else than a product and reflex 
of the supernatural human mind. I do not ask whether this 
or that, or any miracle can happen or not; I only show u'hat 
miracle is, and I show it not à pr'iori, but ùy examples of 
miracles, narrated in the Bible as real events; in doing so, 
however, I answer or rather preclude the question as to the 
possibility or reality or necet;sity of miracle. Thus much con- 
cerning the distinction between lue and the historical critics 
who have attacked Christianity. As regards 111Y l'elation to 
Strauss and Bruno Bauer, in company 'with WhOl11 I am con- 
stantly named, I merely point out here that the distinction 
between our works is sufficiently indicated by the distinction 
between their objects, which is implied even in the title-page. 
Bauer takes for the object of his criticism the evangelical his- 
tory, i. e., biblical Christianity, or rather biblical theology; 



PREFACE. 


xv 


Strauss, the System of Christian Doctrine and the Life of Jesus, 
(which may also be included under the title of Christian Doc- 
trine,) i. e., dogmatic Christianity or rather dogmatic theology; 
I, Christianity in general, i. e., the Christian religion, and 
consequently, only Christian philosophy or theology. Hence I 
take my citations chiefly from men in whom Christianity was 
not merely a theory or a dogma, not merely theology, but re- 
ligion. J\Iy principal theme is Christianity, is Religion, as it is 
the inunecliate object, the i1n.mecliate natwre, of man. Erudi- 
tion and philosophy are to me only the 'Jneans by which I bring 
to light the treasure hid in man. 
I must further mention that the circulation which my work 
has had amongst the public at large, was neither desired nor 
expected by me. It is true that I have always taken as the 
standard of the mode of teaching and writing, not the abstract, 
particular, professional philosopher, but universal man, that I 
have regarded 'lnan as the criterion of truth, and not this or 
that founder of a system, and have from the first placed the 
highest excellence of the philosopher in this, that he aùstains, 
both as a man and as an author, from the ostentation of philo- 
sophy, i. e., that he is a philosopher only in reality, not fo nn ally , 
that he is a quiet philosopher, not a loud and still less a brawling 
one. Hence, in all my works as well as in the present one, I 
have made the utmost clearness, simplicity and definiteness, a 
law to myself, so that they may be understood, at least in the 
Inain, by every cultivated and thinking man. But notwith... 
standing this, Iny work can be appreciated and fully understood 
only by the scholar, that is to say, by the scholar who loves 
truth, who is capable of fonning a judgment, who is above the 
notions and prejudices of the learned and unlearned vulgar; for 
although a thoroughly independent production, it has yet its 
necessary logical basis in history. I very frequently refer to 
this or that historical phenomenon without expressly designating 
it, thinking this superfluous; and such references can be under- 
stood by the scholar alone. Thus, for example, in the very 
first chapter, where I develope thë necessary consequences of 
the stanù-pointofFeeling, I allude toJ acobi and Schleiermacher; 



xvi 


PREFACE. 


in the second clulpter I allude chiefly to Kantism, Scepticism, 
Theism, J\laterialism and Pantheism; in the chapter on the 
"Stand-point of Religion," where I discuss the contradictions 
between the religious or theological and the physical or natural- 
philosophical view of Nature, I refer to philosophy in the age 
of orthodoxy, and especially to the philosophy of Descartes 
and Leibnitz, in which this contradiction presents itself in a 
peculiarly characteristic manner. The reader, therefore, who is 
unacquainted wi th the historical facts and ideas presupposed in 
my work, will fail to perceive on what my arguments and ideas 
hinge; no wonder if my positions often appear to him baseless, 
however firm the footing on which they stand. It is true that 
the subject of nlY work is of universal human interest; more- 
over, its fundamental ideas, though not in the form in which 
they are here expressed, or in which they could be expressed 
under existing circunlstances, will one day become the conlmon 
property of mankind: for nothing is opposed to them in the pre- 
sent day but empty, powerless illusions and prejudices in contra- 
diction with the true nature of man. But in considering this 
subject in the first instance, I 'was under the necessity of treating 
it as a matter of science, of philosophy ; and in rectifying the aber- 
rations of R,eligion, Theology, and Speculation, I was naturally 
obliged to use their expressions, and even to appear to speculate, 
or-which is the same thing-to turn theologian myself, while I 
nevertheless only analyse speculation, i. e., reduce theology to 
anthropology. J\Iy work, as I said before, contains, and ap- 
plies in the concrete, the principle of a new philosophy suited- 
not to the schools, but-to man. Yes, it contains that principle, 
but only by e'Colving it out of the" very core of religion; hence, 
be it said in passing, the new philosophy can no longer, like 
the old Catholic and modern Protestant scholasticism, fall into 
the temptation to prove its agreement with religion by its 
agreement with Christian dogmas; on the contrary, being 
evolved from the nature of religion, it has in itself the true 
et;sence of religion,-is, in its very quality as a philosophy, a 
religion also. But a work which considers ideas in their genesis 
and explains and demonstrates them in strict sequence, is, by 



PREFACE. 


XVII 


the very form which this purpose imposes upon it, unsuited to 
popular reading. 
Lastly, as a supplement to this work with regard to many 
apparently unvindicated positions, I refer to my articles in the 
Deutsches Jahrbuch, January and February, 1842, to my cri- 
tiques and Charakteristiken des modernen After-christenthu?ns, 
in previous numbers of the same periodical, and to my earlier 
works, especially the following :-P. Bayle. Ein Beitrag ZlU. 
Geschichte de? Philosophie 'Lind ]'Ienschheit, Ausbach, 1838, 
and Philosophie und Chr-istenth'llm, l\Iannheim, 1839. In 
these works I have sketched, with a few sharp touches, the 
historical solution of Christianity, and have shown that Chris- 
tianity has in fact long vanished, not only from the Reason but 
from the Life of mankind, that it is nothing more than a fixed 
idea, in flagrant contradiction with our Fire and Life Assurance 
companies, our rail-roads and steam-carriages, our picture and 
sculpture galleries, our military and industrial schools, our 
theatres and scientific museums. 


LUD"\VIG FEUERBACH. 


Bruckberg, Feb. 14, 1843. 



CON TEN T S. 


INTRODUCTION. 
CHAPTER PAGB 
I. 9 1. The Essential Nature of Man . . . . . . . 1 
I. 9 2. The Essence of Religion considered generally. . . . 12 


PART I. 
THE TRUE OR ANTHROPOLOGICAL ESSENCE OF RELIGION. 


II. God as a Being of the U nderstallding . . . . . . . . 32 
III. God as a.Moral Being, or Law . . . . . . . . . . 43 
IV. The Mystery of the Incarnation; or, God as Love, as a Being 
of the Heart . . . . . ! . . . . . . . . . 49 
V. The Mystery of the.S
ffering God. .... . 58 
VI. The Mystery of the Trinity and the .lVlother of God. 64 
VII. The Mystery of the Logos and Divine Image. . .. 73 
VIII. The Mystery of the CosnlOgonical Principle in God. . . . 79 
IX. The ltl ystery of sticism, or Nature in God . . . . . 86 
X. The Mystery of Providence and Creation out of Nothing. . 100 
. XI. The Significance of the Creation in Judaism. . . . . . 111 
XII. The OmnipoteI1ce of Feeling, or the Myster of Prayer . . 119 
XIII. The l\lystery of Faith-the Mystery of l\Iiracle. . . . . 125 
XIV. The Mystery of the Resurrection and of the Miraculous Con- 
ception . . ". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 
XV. The Mystery of the Christian Christ, or the Personal God . 139 
XVI. The Distinction between Christianity and Heathenism . . 149 
XVII. The Significance of Voluntary Celibacy and l\Ionachism . . 159 
, XVIII. The Cluistian }leaven, or Perßonal Immortality . . . . 169 



xx 


CONTENTS. 


PART II. 


THE FALSE OR THEOLOGICAL ESSENCE OF RELIGION. 


CHAPTER 
XIX. The Essential Stand-point of Religion. . 
XX. The Contradiction in the Existence of God 
XXI. The Contradiction in the Revelation of God 
XXII. The Contradiction in the Nature of God in general . 
XXIII. The Contradiction in the Speculative Doctrine of God. 
XXIV. The Contradiction in the. Trinity. . . . 
XXV. The Contradiction in the Sacraments . 
XXVI. The Contradiction of Faith and Love . . . 
XXVII. Concluding Application. . . . . . 


PAGB 


. . . 184 
. . . 196 
. . . 203 
. 211 
. . 224 
. 230 
. . 234 
. 245 
. 267 


APPENDIX. 


.. 
I.. 


SECTION' 
1. The Religious Emotions purely Human . 275 
2. God is Feeling released from Limits . . 277 
3. God is the highest Feeling of Self . . . . . . . . . . 278 
4. Distinction between the Pantheistic and Personal God . . . 279 
5. Nature without interest for Christians. . . . . . . . . 282 
6. In God l\Ian is his own Object . . . . . .. .. 284 
,.- 
7. Christianity the Religion of Suffering a . . 287 
8. Mystery of the Trinity. . . . . . . 288 
9. Creation out of Nothing . . . . . 293 
10. Egoism of the Israelitish Religion. . . . . . . 294 
11. The Idea of Providence. . . . . . . . . 295 
12. Contradiction of Faith and Reason . . 300 
13. The Resurrection of Christ . . 304 
14. The Christian a Supermundane Being . . 304 
15. The Celibate and Monachism. . . . . . 305 
16. The Christian Heaven . . . . . . . . . . . 313 
17. What Faith denies on Earth it affirms in Heaven . . 315 
18. Contradictions in the Sacraments I . . . . . . 316 
19. Contradiction of Faith and Love. 
 . . 319 
20. Results of the Principle of Faith. . 325 
2).. Contradiction of the God-
lan. . . 332 
22. .Anthrppology the 1\1 ystery of Theology . .. . . . 337 



THE 


ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


CHAPTER I. 


INTRODUCTION. 



 1. The Essentictl Nature of ]Ian. 


RELIGIO
 has its basis in the essential difference between mall 
and the brute-the brutes have no religion. It is true that 
the old uncritical writers on natural history attributed to the 
elephant, among other laudable qualities, the virtue of religi- 
ousness; but the religion of elephants belongs to the realm of 
fable. Cuvier, one of the greatest authorities on the animal 
kingdom, assigns, on the strength of his personal observa- 
tions, no higher grade of intelligence to the elephant than to 
the dog. 
l3ut what is this essential difference between man and the 
brute? The most simple, general, and also the most popular 
answer to this question is-consciousness :-but consciousness 
in the strict sense; for the consciousness implied in the feeling 
of 
elf as an individual, in discrÏ1nillation bv the senses, in 
the perception and even judgment of outward things accord- 
ing to definite sensihle signs, cannot be denied to the brutes. 
Consciousness in the strictest sense is present only in a being 
to whom his species, his essential nature, is an object of 
thought. The brute is indeed conscious of himself as fin 
individual-and he has accordingly the feeling of self as the 
comUlon centre of successive sensations-but not as a species: 
hence, he is without that consciousness which in its nature, aR 
in its name, is akin to science. 'Vhere there is this higher 
consciousness there is a cap
 bility of science. Science is the 
cognizance of species. In practical life we have to do with 
individuals; in science, with species. But only a being to 
B 



2 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


,vhom his own species, his own nRture, is an object of thougllt, 
('an make the essential nature of other things or beings an 
object of thought. 
Hence the brute has only a sÏ1llple, man a twofold life: in 
the brutQ, the inner life is one .with the outer; man has both an 
inner and an outer life. The inner life of man is the life whieh 
has relation to his species, to his general, as distinguished from 
his individual, nature. 
Ian thinks-that is, he converses with 
himself. The brute can exercise no function which has rela- 
tion to its specie
 without another individual external to 
itself; but man can perform the functions of thought and 
speech, which strictly inlply such a relation, apart from another 
individual. l\Ian is himself at once I and thou; he can put 
himself in the place of another, for this reason, that to hinl his 
species, his essential nature, and not merely his individuality, 
is an object of thought. 
Religion being identical with the distinctive characteristic of 
Jnan, is then identical with self-consciousness-with the con- 
sciousness which man has of his nature. But religion, ex- 
IH'essed generally, is consciousness of the infinite; thus it is 
and can be nothing else than the consciousness which man has 
of his own-not finite anù lÌInited, but infinite nature. A 
really finite being has not even the faintest adumbration, still 
less consciousness, of an infinite being, for the lin1it of the 
nature is also the lin1it of the consciousness. The conscious- 
ness of the caterpillar, whose life is confined to tt particular 
species of plant, does not extend itself beyond this narrow 
domain. I t does, indeed, discriminate between this plant and 
other plants, but n101'e it knows not. A consciousness so 
limited, but on account of that very limitation so infallible, we do 
not call consciousness, but instinct. Consciousness, in the 
strict or proper sense, is identical with consciousness of the 
infinite; a limited consciousness is no conseÌousnebs; con- 
sciou
ness is essentially infinite in its nfiture.* The conscious- 
ness of the infinite is nothing else tlwn the consciousness of 
the infinity of the consciousness; or, in the consciousness of 


* Objectull1 intellectus esse illimitatum sive omne verum ac, ut 
loquuntur, omne enR ut CllS, ex eo ('on
tat, quod ad nullum non genus 
l o erum extenditur, nullumque eHt, cujus cogno8cendi capax non sit, Jiret ob 
varia obstacula multa sint, qum l o e ipsa non norit.-Gassendi, (Opp. Omn. 
Phys.) 



THE ESSENTIAL NATURE OF MAN. 


:3 


the infinite, the conscious subject has for his object the infinity 
of his own nature. 
'Vbat, then, is the nature of n1an, of which he is conscious, 
or what constitutes the specific distinction, the proper lnunanity 
of 111an?* Reason, 'ViII, Affection. To a conlplete man belong 
the power of thought, the power of will, the power of affection. 
The power of thought is the light of the intellect, the power of 
will is energy of character, the power of affection is love. 
Reason, love, force of win, are perfections-the perfections of 
the human being-nay, more, they are abbolute perfections of 
being. To will, to love, to think, are the highest powers, are 
the absolute nature of man as man, and the basis of his ex- 
istence. 
Ian exists to think, to love, to will. Now that 
which is the end, the ultÜnate aim, is also the true basis and 
principle of a being. But what is the enù of reason? Reason. 
Of love? Love. Of will? Freedolll of the will. 'Ve think 
for the sake of thinking; love for the sake of loving; will for 
the sake of willing-i.e., that we may be free. True existence 
is thinking, loving, wining existence. That alone is true, per- 
fect, divine, which exists for its own sake. But such is love, 
such is reason, such is will. The divine trinity in man, above 
the individual nlan, is the unity üf reason, love, will. Reason, 
'Vill, Love, are not powers which man possesses, for he is 
nothing without them, he i::; what he is only by them; they are 
the constituent elements of his nature, which he neither has 
nor makes, the llnimating, determining, governing powers- 
divine, absolute powers-to which he can ol)pose no resistance.t 
How can the feeling nlan resist feeling, the loving one love, 
the rational one reason? 'Vho has not experienced the over- 
whelming power of melody? And what else is the -power of 
melody but the power of feeling? 
Iusic is the language of 
feeling ; melody is audible feelin g-feeling communicating 
itself. 'Vho has not experienced the power of love, or at least 
heard of it ? 'Vhich is the stronger-love or the individual 


* The obtuse materialist says: "l\lan is distinguished from the brute 
only by consciomme:;:s-he is an animal with consciousness superadded;" 
not reflccting, that in a being which awakes to consciommess, thcre takcs 
place a qualitative change, a differentiation of the entire nature. For the 
rest, our words are by no nwam3 intended to depreciate the nature of the 
lower animals. This is not the place to enter ftl1ther into that queRtion. 
t "Toute opinion est assez forte pour se faire exposer au prix de la 
vie." - :
Iont.aigne. 


B 2 



4 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


man? Is it man that l)ossesses love, or is it not much rather 
love that possesses man? "\Vhen love imI)els a nlan to suffer 
death even joyfully for the beloved one, is this death-conquer- 
ing power his own indiyidual power, or is it not rather the 
power of love? And who that e"'ler truly thought has not 
experienced that quiet, subtle power-the power of thought? 
"\Vhen thou sinkest into deep reflection, forgetting thyself and 
what is around thee, clost thou govern reason, or is it not 
reason which governs and absorbs thee? Scientific enthu- 
siasm-is it not the most glorious triumph of intellect over 
thee? The desire of knowledge-is it not a simply irresistible, 
and all-conquering power? And when thou suppressest a 
passion, renonncest a habit, in short, achievest a victory over 
thyself, is this victorious power thy own personal power, or is 
it not rather the energy of will, the force of morality, which 
seizes the mastery of thee, and fills thee with indignation 
against thyself and thy individual weaknesses? 
J\lan is nothing without an object. The great modt'ls of 
humanity, such men as reveal to us what man is capable of, 
have attested the truth of this proposition by their lives. They 
had only one dominant passion-the realization of the aim 
.which was the essential object of their activity. But the 
object to which a subject essentially, necessarily rplates, is 
nothing else than this subject's own, but objective, nature. If 
it be an object common to several indiviclnn1s of the Stlnle 
species, but under various conditions, it is still, at least as to 
the form under which it presents itself to each of then1 accord- 
ing to their respective modifications, their own, but objective, 
nature. 
Thus the Sun is the common object of the planets, but it is 
an object to l\Iercury, to Venlls, to Saturn, to Uranus, under 
other conditions than to the Earth. Each planet has its own 
sun. The Sun "which lights and warms Uranus has no physical 
(only an astronomical, scientific) existence for the earth; anù 
not only does the Sun appear different, 1nlt it really is another 
sun on Uranus than on the Earth. The relation of the Sun 
to the Earth is therefore at the same time a relation of the 
E artb to itself, or to its own nature, for the l11eaSUl'e of the 
size and of the intensity of light which the Sun possesses as 
the object of the Eartb, is the lueasure of the diðtflnce, which 
detenniues the peculiar nature of the Earth. Hence each 
planet 110.::5 in its "sun the mirror of its own nature. 



THE ESSENTIAL NATURE OF l\IAN. 


5 


In the object whieh he contmuplates, therefore, man becomes 
acquainted with himself; consciousness of the objective is the 
self-con
ciousness of mall. 'Ve know the man by the object, 
by his conception of what is external to hÏ1nself; in it his 
nature beCOl11es evident; this object is his manifested nature, 
his true objective ego. And this is true not lnerely of spiritual, 
but also of sensuous objects. Even the objects which are 
the 11l0st r81note fi.Olll 11lan, because they are objects to him, 
and to the extent to which they are so, are revelations of human 
nature. Even the 11100n, the snn, the stars, call to luan rVWOL 
(TEaVTóv. That he sees them, and so sees them, is an eyidence 
of his own nature. The anÏ1nal is sensiLle only of the beam 
which immediately affects life; while man perceives the ray, 
to him l)hysically indifferent, of the remotest star. l\Ian alone 
has purely intellectual, disinterested joys and passions; the 
eye of man alone keeps theoretic féstivals. The eye which 
looks into the starry heavens, whieh gazes at that light, alike 
useless and harmless, having nothing in common with the 
earth anel its necessities-this eye sees in that light its own 
nature, its own origin. The eye is heavenly in its nature. 
Hence Ulan elevates hiInself above the earth only with the eye; 
hence theory begins with the contemplation of the heavens. 
The first philosophers were astronomers. It is the heavens 
that admonish man of his destination, and remind him that he 
is destined not merely to action, but albo to contemplation. 
The absolute to Ulan is his own nature. The 110wer 
of the 0 bj ect over him is therefore the power of his own 
nature. Thus the power of the object of fepling is the power 
of feeling itself; the power of the object of the intellect is the 
power of the intel1ect itself; the power of the object of the will 
is the power of the will itself. The man who is affected by 
musical sounds, is governed by feeling; by the feeling, that is, 
which finds its corresponding element in musical sounds. But 
it is not melody as such, it is only lnelody pregnant with 
meaning and emotion, which has power over feeling. Feeling 
is only acted on by that which conveys feeling, i. e., by itself, 
its own nature. Thus also the will; thus, and infinitely nlore, 
the intellect.. 'Yhatever kind of object, therefore, we are at 
Rny tÏ1ne conscious of, we are ahvavs at the same tin1e conseious 
of 
our own nature; we can affil'
 nothing without affirming 
ourselves. And since to will, to feel, to think, are 11erfeetions, 
essences, realities, it is impossible that intellect, feeling, and 



6 


THE ESSEXCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


will should feel or perceive then1selves as IÜnited, finite powers, 
i. e., as worthless, as nothing. For finiteness and nothingness 
are identical; finiteness is only a euphemisnl for nothingness. 
Finiteness is the metaphJsical, the theoretical-nothingness 
the pathological, practical expression. 'Vhat is finite to the 
understanding is nothing to the heart. But it is ÌInpossible 
that we should be conscious of will, feeling, and intellect, as 
finite powers, because every perfect existence, every original 
power and essence, is the Ì1nmediate verification and affinl1ation 
of itself. It is Ì1npossible to love, win, or think, without per- 
ceiving these activities to be perfections-impossible to feel 
that one is a loving, willing, thinking being, without expe- 
riencing an infinite joy therein. Consciousness consists in a 
being becoming objective to itself; hence it is nothing apart, 
nothing distinct frolll the being which is conscious of itself. 
How could it otherwise become conscious of itself? It is 
therefore impossible to be conscious of a perfection as an 
imperfection, impossible te> feel feeling limited, to think thought 
limited. 
Consciousness is self-verification, self-affirmation, self-love, 
joy in one's own perfection. Consciousness is the charac- 
teristic mark of a perfect nature; it exists only in a self-suf- 
ficing, cOInplete being. Even lHunall vanity attests this truth. 
A. man looks in the glass; he has complacency in his appear- 
ance. This complacency is a necesbary, involuntary conse- 
quence of the completeness, the lJeauty of his fonn. A beau- 
tiful fonn is satisfied in it
elf; it has necessarily joy in itself 
-in self-contcmplation. This cOlnplacency becolnes vanity 
only when a man piques himself on his form as being his 
indivÎflual form, not when he adnlires it as a speeÏ1nen of 
human beauty in general. It is fitting that he shoul<l adrnire 
it thus; he can conceive no fonn nlore beautiful, nlore sublime 
than the human.* Assuredly every being loves itself, its exist- 
ence-and fitly so. To exist is fI good. Qnidquill essentia 
dignllln est, scientia dignlln/; est. Everything that exists has 
value, is a being of distinction-at least this is true of the 


* Homini homine nihil pulchrius. (Cic, de N at, D, 1. i) And this is 
no sign of limitation, for he regards other beings as beautiful besides him- 
self; he delights in the beautiful forms of animals, in the beautiful forms 
of plants, in the beauty of nature in general. But only the absolute, the 
perfect form, can delight without envy in the forms of other beings. 



THE ESSENTIAL NATURE OF 
IAN. 


7 


species: hence it asserts, maintains itself. But the highest 
form of self-assertion, the form .which is itself a ::;uperiority, a 
perfection, a bliss, a good, is consciousness. 
Every limitation of the reason, or in general of the nature 
of luan, rests on a delusion, an error. It is true that the 
human being, as an individual, can and must-herein consists 
his distinction fronl the brute-feel and recognise hÏ1nself to 
be limited; hut he can become conscious of his limits, his 
finiteness, only because the perfection, the infinitude of his 
species is perceived by him, .whether as an object of feeling, 
of conscience, or of the thinking consciousness. If he makes 
his own lÏ1nitations the lin1Ïtations of the species, this arises 
from the mistake that he identifies himself immediately with 
the species-a mistake which is intimately connected with the 
individual's love of ease, sloth, vanit)', and egoism. For a 
linlÏtation which I know to be merely mine humiliates, 
shames, and perturbs me. Hence to free myself from this 
feeling of shame, from this state of dissatisfaction, I convert 
the limits of my individuality into the limits of human nature 
in general. "\Vhat is incomprehensible to Ine is incomprehen- 
sible to others; why should I trouble myself further? it is no 
fault of nline; my understanding is not to blame, but the under- 
standing of the race. But it is a ludicrous and even culpable 
error to define as finite and limited what constitutes the essence 
of luan, the nature of the Rpecies, which is the absolute nature 
of the individual. Every being is sufficient to itself. No 
being can deny itself, i.e., its own nature; no being is a 
limited one to itself. Rather, every being is in find by itself 
infinite-has its God, its highest conceivable being, in itself. 
Every limit of a being is cognisable only by another being out 
of and above him. The life of the ephenIf'ra is extraordinarily 
short in comparison with that of longer lived creatures; but 
nevertheles:::;, for the ephenlera this short life is as long as a 
life of years to others. The leaf on which the caterpillar lives 
is for it a world, an infinite space. 
That which nlakes a being vdu1Ì it is-is its talent, its power, 
its wealth, its adornUlent. How can it possibly hold its existence 
non-existence, its wealth poverty, its talent incapacity? If the 
plants had eyes, taste and judgment, each plant would declare 
its own flower the lnost beautiful; for its coulprehension, its taste, 
would reach no farther than its natural power of production. 
"\Vhat the productive power of its nature has brought forth 



8 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


as tlle highest, that must also its taste, its judgment, recognise 
and affirm as the highest. 'Yhat the nature affirms, the under- 
standing, the taste, the judgment., cannot deny; otherwise 
the understanding, the judgment, would no longer be the un- 
derstanding and judgnlent of this particular being, Lut of sonle 
other. The measure of the nature is also the measure of the 
understanding. If the nature is IÜllited, so also is the feel- 
ing, so also is the understanding. But to a lin1Ïted being its 
limited understanding i
 not felt to be a lin1Ïtation; on the 
contrary, it is perfectly happy and contented with this under- 
standing; it regards it, praises and value
 it, as a glorious, 
divine power; and the limitecl understanding, on its part, values 
the limited nature whose understAnding it is. Each is exactly 
adapted to the other; how should they be at issue with each 
other? A being's understanding is its sphere of vision. As 
far as thou seest, so far extends thv nature; and conversely. 
The eye of the brute reaches no farther than its needs, and its 
nature no fartller than its needs. And so far as thy nature 
reaches, so far reaches thy unlimited self-consciousness, so far 
art thou God. The discrepancy between the understanding and 
the nature, between the power of conception and the power of 
production in the human consciousness, on the one hand is 
merely of individual significance and has not a universal appli- 
cation; and, on the other hand, it is only apparent. He who 
llaving written a bad poem knows it to be bad, is in hi
 intel- 
ligence, and therefore in his nature, not so lin1ited as he who, 
having written a bad poem, adn1ires it and thinks it good. 
It follows, that if thou thinkest the infinite, thou perceivest 
and affirmest the infinitude of the power of thought; if thou 
feelest the infinite, thou feelest and affirmest the infinitude of 
the power of feeling. The object of the intellect is intellect 
objective to itself; the object of feeling is feeling objective to 
itself. If thou hast no sensibility, no feeling for lllusic, thou 
perceivest in the finest Inusic nothing nlore than in the wind 
that whistles by thy ear, or than in the brook which rushes 
}Htst thy feet. 'Yhat then is it which acts on thee when thou 
art affected by melody? 'Vhat dost thou perceive in it? 'Yhat 
else than the voice of thy own heart? Feeling speaks only to 
feeling; feeling is comprehensible only by feeling, that is, by 
itself-for this reason, that the object of feeling is nothing else 
than feeling. 
fusic is a monologue of enlotion. But the 
dialogue of philosophy also is in truth only a monologue of 



THE ESSENTIAL NATFRE OF 
IAN. 


9 


tlle intellect; thought speaks only to thought. The splendour
 
of the crystal Cha1'111 the sense; but the intellect is interested 
only in tile laws of crystallization. The intellectual only is the 
object of the intellect.* 
All therefore which, in the point of vie,v of n1etaphysical, 
transcendental speculation and religion, has the significance 
only of the secondary, the subjective, the llledium, the organ, 
-has in truth the significance of the prÏ1l1ary, of the essence, of 
the object itself. If: for exaInple, feeling is the essential organ 
of religion, the nature of God is nothing else than an expression 
of the nature of feeling. The true but latent sense of the 
phrase, "Feeling is the organ of the divine," is, feeling is 
the noblest, the nlost excellent, i.e., the diyine, in nUln. How 
couldst thou perceive the diyine by feeling, if feeling 'were not 
itself divine in its nature? The divine assuredly is known only 
by means of the divine-God is known only by himself. The 
divine nature which is discerned by feeling, is in truth nothing 
else than feeling ellrapture(l, in ecstasy with itself-feeling 
intoxicated with joy, blissful in its own plenitude. 
It is already clear from this that where feeling is held to be 
the organ of the infinite, the subjective essence of religion,- 
the external data of religion lose their objective value. And 
th us, since feeling has been held the cardinal principle in 
religion, the doctrines of Ohristianity, fornlerly so sacred, have 
lost their inlportance. If froln this IJoint of view SOllle value is 
still conceded to Christian ideas, it is a value springing 
entirely fi'om the relation they bear to feeling; if another 
object would excite the same emotions, it ,vould be just as 
welcolne. But the object of religions feeling is become A 
nlatter of indifference, only because when once feeling has 
been pronounced to be tIle sul)jective essence of religion, it in 
fact is also the objective essence of religion, though it nlay not 
be declared, at least directly, to be such. I say directly; for 
indirectly this is certainly adnlÏtted, when it is declared that 
feeling, as such, is religious, and thus the distinction between 
specifieally religious and irreligious, or at least non-reli- 
gious, feelings, is abolished,-a necessary consequence of the 
point of view in which feeling only is regarded as the organ of 
the divine. For on what other ground than that of its essence, 


* "The understanding is percipient only of understanding, and what 
proceeds thence."-Reimarus (Wahrh. der Natürl. Religion
 iv. Abth. S 8.) 
B 3 



10 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


its nature, dost thou }}old feeling to be the organ of the infi- 
nite, the divine being? And is not the nature of feeling in 
general, also the nature of every 
pecial feeling, be its oLject 
what it nlay? 'Yhat, then, makes this feeling religious? A 
given object? Not at all; for this object is itself a religious 
one only when it is not an object of the cold understanding 
or meJnory, but of f8eling. \Vhat then? The nature of 
feeling-a nature of which every special feeling, without dis- 
tinction of objects, partakes. Thus, feeling is pronounced to 
be religious, sÏ1nply because it is feeling; the ground of its 
religiousness is its own nature-lies in itself. But is not 
feeling thereby declared to be itself the absolute, the divine? 
If feeling in itself is good, religious, i.e., holy, divine, has not 
feeling its God in i t
elf ? 
But if, notwithstanding, thou wilt posit an object of feel- 
ing, but at the same time seekest to express thy feeling truly, 
without introducing by thy reflection any foreign element, 
what relnains to thee but to distinguish between thy individua] 
feeling and the general nature of feeling ;-to separate the 
universal in feeling from the di
turbing, adulterating influ- 
ences with which feeling is bound up in thee, under thy indi- 
vidual conditions? Hence what thou canst alone contem- 
plate, declare to be the infinite, and define as its essence, is 
merely the nature of feeling. Thou }last thus no other defi- 
nition of God than this; God is pure, unlimited, free Feeling. 
Every other God, 'whom thou supposest, is a God thrust 
upon thy feeling from without. Feeling is atheistic in the 
sense of the orthodox belief, which attaches religion to 
an external object; it denies an objective God-it is itself 
God. In this point of view, only the negation of feeling is 
the negation of God. Thou art sinlply too cowardly or too narrow 
to confess in words what thy feeling tacitly affirms. Fettered 
by outward considerations, still in bondage to vulgar empiricism, 
incapable of comprehending the spiritual grandeur of feeling, 
thou art terrified before the religious atheism of thy heart. By 
this fear thou destroyest the unity of thy feeling with itself, 
in Í1nagining to thyself an objective being distinct frOIll thy 
feeling, and thus necessarily 
inking back into the old questions 
and doubts-is there a God or not ?-questionsand doubts which 
vanish, nay, are Í1npossiLle, where feeling is defined as tbe 
essence of religion. Feeling is thy own inward power, but 
at the same time a power distinct from thee, and inde))endent 



THE ESSENTIAL NATURE OF MAN. 


]} 


of thee; it is in thee, above thee: it is itself that which con- 
btitutes the objective in thee-thy own being which Ï1npresses 
thee as another being; in short, thy God. I-Iow wilt thou then 
distinguish fl'oln this objecrive being within thee another objec- 
tive being? how wilt thou get beyond thy feeling? 
But feeling has here been adduced only as an example. It is 
the same with every other power, faculty, potentiality, reality, 
activity-the name is indifferent-which is defined as the 
essential organ of any object. 'Vhatever is a subjective 
expression of a nature is simultaneously also its objective 
expression. 1\Ian cannot get beyond his true nature. He 
may indeed by meallS of the iInagination conceive individuals 
of another so-called higher kind, but he can never get loose 
from his species, his nature; the conditions of being, the 
positive final predicates whieh he gives to "these other indivi- 
duals, are always determinations or qualities drawn from 
his own nature-qualities in which he in truth only images 
and projects himself. There 11lay certainly Le thinking beings 
besides men on the other planets of our solar system. But by 
the supposition of such beings we do not change our standing 
point-we extend our conceptions quantitati:cely, not qzuÛita- 
tirely. For as surely as on the other planets there are the same 
laws of motion, so surely are there the SaIne laws of percep4 
tion and thought as here. In fact, we l)eople the other planets, 
not that we may place there different beings from ourselves, 
but 1nore beings of our own or of a similar llature.* 


* Verisimile est, non minus quam geometriæ, etiam musicæ oblecta,- 
tionem ad plures quam ad nos pertinere. Po::;iti.s eniln aliis terris atque 
animalibus ratione et auditu pollentibus, cur tantum his nostris conti- 
gisset ea voluptas, quæ sola PX sono percipi potest ?-Chl'ist. IIugcnius. 
(Cosmotheor, 1, i.) 



12 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 



 2. The Essence of Religion considel'ed generally. 


,V HAT we have hitherto been maintaining generally, even 
with regard to sensational impressions, of the relation between 
subject anel object, applies especially to the relation between 
the su bj ect and the religious 0 bj ect. 
In the perceptions of the senses consciousness of the 0 bj ect 
is distinguishable from consciousness of self; but in religion, 
consciousness of the object and self-consciousness coincide. 
The object of the senses is out of mall, the religious object is 
within him, anel therefore as little forsakes him as his self- 
consciousness or his conscience; it is the intimate, the closest 
object. "God," says Augustine, for example, "is nearer, 
more related to us, and therefore more easily known by us, 
than sensible, corporeal things."* The object of the senses is 
in itself indifferent-independent of the disposition or of the 
judgment; but the object of religion is a selected object; the 
most excellent, the first, the suprelne being; it essentially pre- 
supposes a critical juelgnlent, a discrimination between the 
divine and the non-divine, between that which is worthy of 
adoration and that which is not worthy,t ..A.nd here may be 
applied, without any limitation, the proposition: the object of 
any subject is nothing else than the subject's own nature 
taken objectively. Such as are a lnan.s thoughts and disposi- 
tions, such is his God; so much worth as a man has, so much 
and no n10re has his Goel. Conbciousness of God is self- 
consciousness, knowledge of Goel is self-knowledge. By his 
God thou knowest the lnan, and by the man his God; the two 
are identical. \Vhatever is God to a man, that is his heart 
and soul; and conversely, God is the manifested inwald 
nature, the expressed self of a lllan,-religion the sol8111n un- 
veiling of a man's hidden treasures, the revelation of his inti- 
mate thoughts, the open confession of his love-secrets. 


:)I: De Genesi ad litteram, 1. v. c. 16. 
t Unusquisque vestrum non cogitat, prius se debere Deum nosse, 
quam colere.-M. Mil].ucii Felicis Octavianus, c. 24. 



THE ESSENCE OF RELIGION. 


13 


But when religion-consciousness of God-is designated as 
the self-consciousness of man, this is not to be understood as 
affirming that the religious man is directly aware of this 
identity; for, on the contrary, ignorance of it is fundmnental 
to the peculiar nature of religion. To preclude this miscon- 
ception, it is better to say, religion is man's earliest and also 
indirect form of self-knowledge. Hence, religion everywhere 
precedes philosophy, as in the history of the race, so also in 
that of the inclividual. .l\Ian first of all sees his nature as if 
out of himself, before he finds it in himself. His own nature 
is in the first instance contemplated by hiln as that of another 
being. Religion is the childlike condition of humanity; but 
the child sees his nature-man-out of himself; in childhood 
a man is an object to_ himself, under the form of another man. 
Renee the historical progress of religion consists in this: 
that what by an earlier religion was regarded as objective, is 
now recognisecl as subjective; that is, what was formerly con- 
templated and worshippecl as God is now perceived to be 
something hUJnan. 'Vhat was at first religion becomes at a 
later period idolatry; man is seen to have adored his own 
nature. 
Ian has given objectivity to himself, but has not 
recognised the object as his own nature: a later religion tokes 
this forward step; every advance in religion is therefore a 
deeper self-knowledge. But every particular religion, while 
it pronounces its predecessors idolatrous, excel)ts itself-and 
necessarily so, otherwise it would no longer be religion-from 
the fate, the common nature of all religions: it imputes only 
to other religions what is the fault, if fault it be, of religion in 
general. Because it has a different object, a different tenour, 
because it has transcended the ideas of preceding religions, it 
erroneously supposes itself exalted above the necessary eternal 
laws which constitute the essence of religion-it fancies its 
object, its ideas, to be superhuman. But the essence of reli- 
gion, thus hidden from the religious, is evident to the thinker, 
by WhOlll religion is viewed objectively, which it cannot be by 
its votaries. And it is our task to show that the antithesis of 
divine and human is altogether illusory, that it is nothing 
else than the antithesis between the human nature in general, 
and the human individual: that, consequently, the object and 
contents of the Ohristian religion are altogether human. 
Religion, at least the Christian, is the relation of lllan to 



14 


THE ESSEKCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


himself, or more correctly to his own nature (i.e., his sub- 
jective nature);* but a relation to it, viewed as a nature apart 
ii'om his own. The divine being is nothing else than the 
hun1an being, or, rather the human nature purified, freed from 
the lÌInits of the individual nlan, Inade objective-i.e., cOlltem- 
l)lated and revered as another, a distinct being. An the 
attributes of the diyine nature are, therefore, attributes of the 
human nature. t 
In relation to the attributes, the predicates, of the Divine 
Being, this is a(hnitted without hesitation, but by no 111eanS in 
relation to the subject of these predicates. The negation of 
the subject is held to be irreligion, nay, atheism; though not 
so the negation of the predicates. But that which has no 
predicates or qualities, has no effect upon me; that which has 
no effect upon me, has no existence for me. To (leny all the 
qualities of a being is equivalent to denying the being hÏIllself. 
A being without qualities is one which callnot beCOll1e an object 
to ttle mind; and such a being is virtually non-existent. 
"\Vhere man deprives God of all qualities, God is no longer 
a.nything more to him than a negati\:"e being. To the truly 
religious man, God is not a being without qualities, because 
to him he is a positive, real being. The theory that Goel 
cannot be defined, and con
ell uendy cannot be known by man, 
is therefore the offspring of recent tÏInes, a product of lnodern 
unbelief. 
As reason is and can be pronounced finite only where man 
regards sensual enjoyment, or religious emotion, or æsthetic 
contemplation, or moral sentÎInent, as the absolute, the true; so 
the proposition that God is unknowable or undefinahle can 
only be enunciated and become fixed as a dogma, ,yhere this 
object has no longer any interest for tbe intellect; where the 
real, the positive, alone has any hold on man, where the real 


* The meaning of this parenthetic limitation will be clear in the 
sequel. 
t Les perfections de Dieu sont celle
 de nos âmes, mais il les possede 

ans bornes-il y a en nous quel'lue puissance, quelque connaissance, 
quelque bonté, mai8 elles sont toutes cntières en Dieu.-Leibuitz, (Théod. 
Preface.) Nihil in anima esse putemus eximium, quod non etiam divillæ 
naturæ proprium 
it-Quidquid a Deo alienum extra dcfinitionem animæ. 
-8. Gregorius Nyss. Est ergo, ut videtur, disciplinarum omnium pulcher- 
rima et maxima se ipsum nosse; si quis cllim se ipsum norit, DeUlll cog- 
noscct.-Clemens Ålex. (Pæd. 1, iii. c. 1.) 



THE ESSENCE OF RELIGION. 


15 


alone has for him tbe significance of the essential, of the 
absolute, divine object, but where at the ballle time, in contra- 
diction with this purely worldly tendency, there yet exist some 
old remains of religiousness. On the ground that God is 
unkno.wable, man excuses himself to what is yet remaining of 
his religious conscience for his forgetfulness of God, his 
absorption in the world: he denies God practically by his 
conduct,-the world has possession of all his tboughts and 
inclinations,-but he does not deny hiln theoretically, he does 
not attaek his existence; he lets that rest. But this existence 
does not affect or incommode him; it is a merely negative 
existence, an existence without existence, a self-contradictory 
existence,-a state of being, which, as to its effects, is not 
distinguishable from non-being. The denial of determinate, 
positive predicates concerning the divine nature, is nothing 
else than a denial of religion, with, however, an al)pearance of 
religion in its favour, so that it is not recognised as a denial; 
it is simply a subtle, disguised atheisln. The alleged religious 
horror of limiting God by positive predicates, is only the 
irreligious wish to know nothing more of God, to banish God 
fi'om the mind. Dread of limitation is dread of existence. 
All real existence, 'i.e., all existence which is truly such, 
is qualitative, detenllinate existence. He who earnestly be- 
lieves in the Divine existence, is not shocked at the attribut- 
ing even of gross sensuous qualities to God. He .who dreads 
an existence that may give offence, who shrinks from the 
grossness of a positive predicate, may as well renounce exis- 
tence altogether. A God who is injured by determinate quali- 
ties has not the courage and the strength to exist. Qualities 
are the fire, the vital breath, the oxygen, the salt of existence. 
..An existence in general, an existence without qualities, is an 
insipidity, an absurdity. But there can "be no more in Goel, 
than is supplied by religion. Only where man loses his taste 
for religion, and thus religion itself becomes insipid, dops the 
existence of God become an insipid existence-an existence 
without qualities. 
There is, however, a still milder way of denying the Divine 
preùicates than the direct one just described. It is adn1Îtted 
that the predicates of the divine nature are finite, and, more 
particularly, human qualities, but their rejection is rcjected; 
they are even taken under protection, because it is necessary 
to man to have a definite conception of God, anù since he is 



]6 


THE ESSEXCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


man, he can form no other than a IllUllan conception of hinl. 
In relation to God, it is said, these preùicates are certainly 
without any objective validity; but to nle, if he i8 to exist 
for nle, he cannot appear otherwise than as he does appear to 
me, namely, as a being with attributes analogous to the 
human. But this distinction between what God is in hÜnself, 
and what he is for me, destroys the peace of religion, and is 
besides in itself an unfounded ancl untenaùle distinction. 
I cannot know whether God is something else in hinlself or 
for himself, than he i:::; for me; what he is to me, is to me all 
that he is. For me, there lies in these predicates under which 
he exists for me, what he is in himself, his very nature; lIe 
is for me what he can alone ever be for me. The religious 
man finds perfect satisfaction in that which God is in relation 
to hiulself; of any other relation he knows nothing, for G oll 
is to him what he can alone be to man. In the distinction 
aùove stated, man takes a point of view above hÏIll s elf, i.e. 
above his nature, the absolute measure of his being; but this 
transcendentalism is only an illusion; for I can IHake the 
distinction between the objeet as it is in itself, anù the object 
as it is for me, only where an object can really appear other- 
wise to Ine, not where it appears to nle such as the absolute 
measure of my nature detennines it to appear-such as it 
must appear to me. It is true that I may have a merely 
subjective conception, -i.e. one which does not arise out of 
the general constitution of my species; but if my conception 
is deternlÌned by the constitution of lny species, the distinl'tioll 
between what an object is in itsplf, and what it is for me 
ceases; for this conception is itself an absolute one. The 
measure of the species is the absolute measure, law, and 
criterion of nlan. And, indeed, l'eligion has the 
onviction 
that its conceptions, its predicates of God, are such as every 
man ought to have, and must have, if he would have the true 
ones-that they are the conceptions necessary to human 
nature; nay, further, that they are objectively true, repre- 
sen ting God as he is. To every religion the gods of othe r 
religions are only notions concerning Goù, but its own con- 
ception of God is to it Gud himself, the true God-God such 
as he is in himself. Religion is satisfied only with a c0111]11ete 
Deitv, a God without reservation; it will not have a mere 
phm{tasm of God; it demands God hi111self. Religion gives 
up its own existence when it gives up the nature of God; 



THE ESSENCE OF RELIGION. 


17 


it IS no longer a truth, when it renounces the possession of 
the true God. Scepticism is the arch-enemy of religion; 
but the distinction between object and. conception-between 
God as he is in himself, and God as he is for me, is a 
sceptical distinction, and therefore an irreligious one. 
That which is to lnan the self-existent, the highest being, 
to which he can conceive nothing higher-that is to him the 
Divine being. How then should he inquire concerning this 
being, what He is in hinlself? If God were an object to the 
bird, he would be a winged being: the bird. knows nothing 
higher, nothing more blissful, than the winged condition. 
How ludicrous would it be if this bird pronounced: to me God 
appears as a bird, but what he is in hinlself I know not. To 
the bird the highest nature is the bird-nature; take fronl him 
the conception of this, and you take fronl him the conception 
of the highest being. How, then, could he ask whether God 
in hÏ1nself were winged? To ask whether God is in himself 
what he is for me, is to ask whether God is God, is to lift 
oneself above one's God, to rise up against hin1. 
vVherever, therefore, this idea, that the religious predicates 
are only anthropomorphisms, has taken possession of a man, 
there has doubt, has unbelief obtained the mastery of faith. 
And it is only the inconsequence of faint-hearte.dness and 
intellectual Ünbecility which does not proceed froln this idea 
to the formal negation of the predicates, and fronl thence to 
the negation of the subject to which they relate. If thou 
doubtest the objective truth of the predicates, thou must also 
doubt the objective truth of the subject whose predicates they 
are. If thy predicates are anthropo1110rphisms, the subject of 
of them is an anthroponlorphism too. If love, goodness, per- 
sonality, &c., are human attributes, so also is the suùject 
which thou pre-supposest, the existence of God, the belief 
that there is n God, an anthroponlorphisln-a pre-supposition 
purely human. 'Vhence knowest thou that the belief in a God 
at all is not a lin1Ïtation of man's mode of conception? Higher 
beings-and thou supposest such-are perhaps so blest in 
themselves, so at unity with themselves, that they are not 
hung in suspense between themselves and a yet higher being. 
To know God and not oneself to be God, to know blessed- 
ness, and not oneself to enjoy it, is a state of disunity, of 
unhappiness. Higher beings know nothing of this unhappi- 
ness; they have no conception of that which they are not. 



18 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIAKITY. 


Thou believest in love as a divine attribute because thou 
thyself lovest; thou believest that God is a wise, benevolent 
being, because thou knowest nothing better in thyself than 
benevolence and wisdom; and thou believest that God exists, 
that therefore he is a subject-whatever exists is a su
ject, 
whether it be defined as substance, person, essence, or other- 
,vise-because thou thyself existest, art thyself a subject. Thou 
knowest no higher hun1an good, than to love, than to be good 
and wise; and even so thou knowest no higher happiness than 
to exist, to be a subject; for the consciousness of all reality, 
of all bliss, is for thee bound up in the consciousness of being 
a suhject, of existing. God is an existence, a subject to thee, 
for the same reason that he is to thee a wise, a ùlessed, a per- 
sonal being. The distinction between the divine predicates 
and the divine subject is only this, that to thee the subject, 
the existence, does not appear an anthropolllorphisln, because 
the conception of it is necessarily involved in thy own exist- 
ence as a subject, whereas the predicates do appear anthropo- 
morphisms, because their necessity-the necessity that God 
should be conscious, wise, gooJ, &c.-is Dot an Ï1nnlediate 
necessity, identical with the being of n1an, but is evolved by 
his self-consciousness, by the activity of his thought. J am a 
subject, I exist, whether I be wise or unwise, good .01' bad. To 
exist is to man the first datulll; it constitutes the very idea 
of the subject; it is presupposed by the predicates. Hence, llian 
relinquishes the predicates, but the existence of God is to him 
a 
ettled, irrefragable, absolutely certain, objective truth. But, 
nevertheless, this distinction is merely an apparent one. The 
necessity of the subject lies only ill the necessity of the predi- 
cate. Thou art a subject only in so far as thou art a hunlan 
suùject; the certainty and reality of thy existence lie only in 
tbe certainty and reality of thy human attributes. \Yhat the 
subject is, lies only in the precÌicate; the lwedicate is tlIP truth 
of the subject-the subject only the personified, existing predi- 
cate, the predicate conceived as exi
ting, Subject and predi- 
cate are distinguished only ag exi
ten('e and essence. The 
negation of the predicates is therefore the negation of the sub- 
ject. \\That remains of the lllunan subject when abstracted 
ii'om the human attributes? Even in the language of common 
life the divine predicates-Providence, 01llni
Gience, Omni- 
potence-are put for the cliyine sUQlect. 
The certainty of the existence of God, of which it has been 
said that it is as certain, nay, Dlore certain to nlan than his 



""" 


THE ESSENCE OF RELIGION. 


]9 


own existence, depends only on the certainty of the qualities 
of God-it is in itself no imlnediate certainty. To the Chris- 
tian the existence of the Christian God only is a certainty; to 
the heathen that of the heathen God only. The heathen did 
not doubt the existence of Jupiter, because he took no offence 
at the nature of Jupiter, because he could conceive of God 
uncleI' no other- qualities, because to him these qualities were a 
certainty, a divine reality. The reality of the predicate is the 
sole guarantee of existence. 
"\Yhatever lllan conceives to be true, he immediately conceives 
to be real (that is, to have an objective existence), because, 
originally, only the real is true to him-true in opposition to 
what is merely conceived, dreamed, imagined. The idea of 
being, of existence, is the original idea of truth; or, originally, 
mall nlakes truth dependent on existence, subsequently, exist
 
tence dependent on truth. N ow God is the nature of man 
regarded as absolute truth,-the truth of man; but God, or, 
what is the same thing, religion, is as various as are the con- 
ditions unùer which nlan conceives this his nature, regards it 
as the highest being. These conditions, then, under which 
l1Hln conceives God, are to him the truth, and for that 
reason they are also the highest existence, or rather they are 
existence itself; for only the emphatic, the highest existence, 
Ü; existence, and deserves this nalne. Therefore, God is an 
existent, real being, on the very same ground that he is a 
particular, definite being; for the qualities of God are nothing 
else than the essential qualities of 111an himself, and a 
particular man is what he is, has his existence, his reality, 
only in hi
 l)articular conditions. Take away fron1 the Greek 
the quality of being Greek, anù you take away his existence. 
On this ground, it is true that for a definite positive 
religion-that is, relatively-the certainty of the existence of 
God is inunediate; for just as involuntarily, as necessarily, 
as the Greek was a Greek, so necessarily were his gods 
Greek beings, so necessarily were they real, existent beings. 
Ileligion is that conception of the nature of the world and 
of man which is essential to, i. e., identical with, a man's 
nature. But Ulan does not stand above this his necessary 
conception; on the contrary, it stands above him; it animates, 
deternlÎnes, governs him. The necessity of a proof, of a 
middle term. to unite qualities with existence, the possibility 
of a doubt, is abolished. Only that which is apart from 
my own being is capable of being doubted by me. How then 


., 
f,- 



20 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIA
ITY. 



an I doubt of God, who is my being? To doubt of God is 
to doubt of my::;elf. Only when God is thought of abstractly, 
when his predicates are the l'esult of philosophic abstraction, 
arises the distinction or separation between subject and predi- 
cate, existence and nature-arises the fiction that the existence 
or the subject is so]nething ebe than the predicate, something 
imnlediate, indubitable, in distinction frolll the predicate, which 
is held to be doubtful. But this is only a fiction. A God who has 
abstract predicates has also all abstract existence. Existence, 
being, varies with varying qualities. 
The identity of the subject and IH'edicate is clearly evidenced 
by the progressive development of religion, which is identical 
with the progressive development of human culture. So long 
as man is in a mere state of nature, so long is his god a ]nere 
nature-god-a personification of some natural force. V{here 
man inhabits houses, he also encloses his gods in telnples. 
The temple is only a manifestation of the value which man 
attaches to beautiful buildings. Te
nples in honour of reli- 
gion are in truth temples in hî)nour of architecture. ""'ith 
the e]nerging of nlan from a state of ::;avagery and wildne::;s to 
one of culture, with the distinction between what is fitting for 
man and what is not fitting, ari::,es simultaneously the dis- 
tinction between that ,vhich is fitting and that which is not 
fitting for God. God is the idea of ill;,jesty, of the highest 
dignity: the religious selltÏlnent is the sentÜllent of su prellle 
fitness. The later ]110re cultured artists of Greece were the 
first to eInhody in the statues of the gods the ideas of dignity, 
of spiritual grandeur, of iml)erturbable repose and serenity. 
But why were the::;e qualities in their view attributes, predieates 
of God? Because they were in themselves regarded by the 
Greeks as divinities. 'Yhy did those artists exclude all disgust- 
ing anc1low l)assions? Because they perceived then} to be un- 
becollling, unworthy, unhuman, and consequently ungodlike. 
The HOlneric gods eat and drink ;-that Ünplies: eating and 
drinking is a divine pleasure. Physical strength is an attri- 
1nlte of the HOlneric god::;: Zeus is the strongest of the gods. 
'Vhy? Because physical strength, in and Lyitself, was regarded 
as sOlnething gloriou
, divine. To the ancient Germans the 
highest virtues were those of the warrior; therefore, their 
supreme god was tIle god of war, Odin,-war, "the original or 
oldest law." Not the attriLute of the divinity, but the di vine- 
ness or deity of the attribute, is the first true Divine Being. 



THE ESSENCE OF RELIGION. 


21 


Thus what theology and philosophy have held to be God, the 
Absolute, the Infinite, is not God; but that which they have 
held not to be God, is God: namely, the attribute, the qualit)
, 
whatever has realitv. Hence, he alone is the true atheist to 
whom the predicates of the Divine Being,-for exanlple, love, 
wisdom, justice, ar.e nuthing; not he to whom rnerely the sub- 
ject of these predicates is nothing. And in no wise is the 
negation of the subject necessarily also a negation of the 
predicates considered in thenlselves. These have an intrinsic, 
independent reality; they force their recognition upon man by 
their very nature; they are self-evident truths to hinl; they 
prove, they attest themselves. It does not follow that good- 
ness, justice, wisdoI11, are chimæras, because the existence of 
God is a chimæra, nor truths because this is a truth. The idea 
of God is dependent on the idea of justice, of benevolence; a 
God who is not benevolent, not just, not wise, is no God; but 
the converse does not hold. The fact is not that a quality is 
divine because God has it, but that God has it because it is in 
itself divine: because without it God would be a defective 
being. Justice, wisdolll, in general every quality which con- 
stitutes the divinity of God, is determined and known by itself, 
indel)endently, but the idea of God is determined by the quali- 
ties which have thus been previously judged to be worthy of 
the divine nature; only in the case in which I identify God 
and justice, in wl1Ïch I think of God imnlediately as the reality 
of the idea of justice, is the idea of God self-determined. But 
if God as a subject is the detennined, while the qua
ity, the 
predicate is the determining, then in truth the rank of the god- 
head is due not to the subject, but to the predicate. 
Not until several, and those contradictury, attributes are 
united in one being, and this being is conceived as personal 
-the personality being thus brought into especial promi- 
nence-not until then is the origin of religion lost sight of, is 
it forgotten that what the activity of the reflective power has 
converted into a predicate distinguishable or separable from 
the subject, was originally the true subject. Thus the Greeks 
and Romans deified accidents as substances: virtues, states of 
mind, passions, a:::; independent beings. l\Ian, especially the 
religious Inan, is to himself the measure of all things, of all 
reality. 'Vhatever strongly impresses a man, whatever pro- 
duces an unusual effect on his nlincl, if it he only a peculiar, 
inexplicable sound or note, he personifies as a divine being. 



22 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


Religion enlbraces all the objects of the world; everything ex- 
isting has been an object of religious reverence; in the nature 
and con
uiousness of religion there is nothing else than what 
lies in the nature of man and in his consciousness of himself 
and of the world. Religion has no material exclusively its 
own. In Borne even the passions of fear and terror had their 
temples. The Christians also made mental phenomena into 
independent beings, their own feelings into qualities of things, 
the passions which governed them into powers which governed 
the world, in short, predicates of their own nature, whether reco- 
gnized as such or not, into independent subjective existences. 
Devils, cobolds, witehes, ghosts, angels, were sacred truths as 
long as the religious spirit held undivide(l sway over mankind. 
In order to banish ii'om the mind the identity of the divine 
and hunlan predicates, and the consequent identity of the divine 
and human nature, recourse is had to the idea that God, as the 
absolute, real Being, has an infinite fulness of various predi- 
cates, of which we here know only a part, and those such as 
are analogou
 to our own; while the rest, by virtue of which 
God must thus have quite a different nature froln the hUlllan 
or that whiuh is analogous to the lnunan, ,ye shall only know 
in the future-that is, after death. But an infinite plenitude 
or multitude of predicates which are really different, so different 
that the one does not innnediately involve the other, is realized 
only in an infinite plenitude or multitude of different beings or 
individuals. Thus the IHullan nature presents an infinite abun- 
dance of different predicates, and for that very reason it presents 
an infinite abundance of different individuals. Each new luan 
is a new predicate, a new phasis of lnunanity. As 11lallY as are 
the men, so nHlny are the powers, the properties of humanity. 
It is true that there are the same elenlents in every individual, 
but under such various conditions and modifications that they 
appear new and peculiar. The Inystery of the inexhaustible ful- 
ness of the divine predicates is therefore nothing else than the 
mystery of hun1an nature considered as an infinitely varied, in- 
finitely modifiable, but, consequently, phenonlenal being. Only 
in the realm of the senses, only in space and time, does there 
exist a heing of really infinite qualities or predicates. 'Yhere 
there are really different preùicates, there are different times. 
One man is a distinguished lllusieian, fi di
tinguished author, 
a distinguished physician; but he cannot COlllpose Inusic, "Trite 
books, anù perform uures in the same llloment of time. Time, 



THE ESSENCE OF RELIGION. 


23 


and not the Hegelian dialectic, is the medium of uniting op- 
posites, contradictories, in one and the sanle subject. But 
distinguished and detached from the nature of man, and cOln- 
bined wi th the idea of God, the infinite fulness of various 
predicates is it conception without reality, a lllere phantasy, 
a conce!Jtion derived from the sensible world, but without the 
e

ential conditions, without tbe truth of sensible existence, a 
conception which stands in direct contradiction with the Divine 
Being considered a
 a spiritual, i.e" an a1
tract, sinlple, single 
being; for the predicates of God are precisely of this character, 
that one inYolve
 all the others, because there is no real dif- 
ference between thenl. If, therefore, in the present predicates 
I have not the future, in the present God not the future God, 
then the future God is not the present, but they are two dis- 
tinct beings.* But this distinction is in contradiction with 
the unity and simplicity of the theological Gud. \Vhy is R 
given predicate a predicate of God? Because it is divine in 
its nature; i.e., because it expreb
es no lin1Ïtation, no defect, 
\Vhy are other lu'edicates applied to Him? Because, howevel' 
various in thenlselves, they agree in this, that they all alike ex- 
press perfection, unlinlitedness. Hence I can conceive innu- 
merable predicates of God, because they must all agree with 
the abstract idea of the Godhead, and lTIUSt have in comnlon 
that which constitutes every single predicatE' a divine attribute. 
Thus it is in the system of Spinoza. lIe speaks of an infinite 
nunlber of attributes of the divine substance, but he specifies 
none except Thought and Extension. 'VIry? becauseitis a matter 
of indifferenee to know them; nay, becausethey are in themselves 
indifferent, superfluous: for with all these innumerable predi- 
cates, I yet always mean to say the same thing as when I speak 
of thought and extension. \Vhy is Thought an attribute of sub- 
stllnce? Because, according to Spinoza, it is capable of being 
conceived Ly itself, because it expresses sonlething indivisible, 
perfect, infinite. \Vhy Extension or J\latter? For the same 
reason. Thus, substance clln have an indefinite number of predi- 
dicates, because it is not their specific definition, theÜ' difference, 


* :For reliO'ious faith there is no other distinction between the present 
and fut.ure G
d than that the former is an object of faith, of conception, of 
imao'ination, while the latter ið to be an objeet of immediate, that is, personal, 
sensible perception. In this life, and in the next, he is the same God; 
but in the one he is incomprehensible, in the other, comprehensible. 



24 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


but their identity, their equivalence, which makes thenl attributes 
of substance. Or rather, substance has innumerable predicates 
only because (how strange 1) it haH properly no predicate; that 
is, no definite, real predicate. The indefinite unity which is the 
product of thought, completes itself by the indefinite multi- 
plicity wbich is the product of the inlagillation. Because the 
predicate is not 1nult-lLln, it is 1nulta. In truth, the positive pre- 
dicates are Thought and Extension. In these two, infinitely 
more is said than in the nanleless innumerable predicates; 
for they express something definite, in thenl I have something. 
But substance is too indifferent, too apathetic, to be sonle- 
thing; that is, to have qualities and pa
Hions; that it may 
not be something, it is rather nothing. 
N ow, when it is shown that what the subject is, lies entirely 
in the attributes of the subject; that is, that the predicate is the 
true subject; it is also proved that if the divine predicates are 
attributes of the human nature, the subject of those predicates 
is also of the human nature. But the divine predicates are 
partly general, partly l)ersonal. The general predicates are 
the metaphysical, but these serve only as external points of 
support to loeligion; they are not the characteristic definitions 
of religion. It is the personal predicates alone which con- 
stitute the essence of religion-in which the Divine Being is 
the object of religion. Such are, for exanlple, that God is a 
Person, that he is the moral Law-giver, the Father of man- 
kind, the Holy One, the Just, the Good, the l\Ierciful. It is 
however at once clear, or it win at least be clear in the sequel, 
with regard to these and other definition
, that, especially as 
applied to a personality, they are purely human definitions, and 
that consequently man in religion-in his relation to God-is 
in relation to his own nature; for to the religious sentiment 
these predicates are not mere conceptions, mere images, which 
Inan forms of God, to be distinguished frolll that which God 
is in hÜnself, but truths, facts, realities. Religion knows 
nothing of anthropolllorphislllS; to it they are not anthropo- 
morphisms. It is the very essence of religion, that to it these 
definitions expre
s the nature of God. They are pronounced 
to be Ï1nages only by the understanding, which reflects on 
religion, and which while defending them yet before its own 
tribunal denies them. But to the religious sentiment God is 
a real Father, real Love and l\Iercy; for to it he is a real, 
living, personal being, and therefore his attributes are also 



THE ESSENCE OF RELIGION. 


25 


living and perRonal. Nay, the definitions which are the 1110Rt 
sufficing to the religious sentinlent, are precisely those which 
give the 1110st offence to the understanding, and which in the 
process of reflection on religion it denies. Religion is essen- 
tially en10tion; hence, oùjectively also, emotion is to it neces- 
sarily of a divine nature. Even anger appears to it an 
en10tion not unworthy of God, provided only there be a reli- 
gious motive at the foundation of this anger. 
But here it is also essential to observe, and this phenolllenon 
is an extremely remarkable one, characterising the very core 
of religion, that in proportion as the divine subject is in 
reality hun1an, the greater is the apparent difference between 
God anù man; that is, the Jl1ore, by reflection on religion, by 
theology, is the identity of the divine and human denied, 
and the human, considered as such, is depreciated.* The 
reason of this is, that as what is positive in the conception of 
the divine being can only be lHtman, the conception of luan, 
as an object of consciousness can only 1)e negative. To 
enrich God, man must become poor; that God may be all, 
n1an n1ust be nothing. But he desires to be nothing in him- 
self, because what he takes frOlTI himself is not lost to him, 
since it is preserved in God. J\Ian has his being in God; 
why then should he have it in himself? 'Yhere is the-neces- 
sity of positing the same thing twice, of having it twice? 'Yhat 
n1an withdraws from himself
 what he renounces In himself, he 
only enjoys in an incomparably higher and fuUermeasurein God. 
The monks lllade a vow of chastity to God; they lTIorti. 
fled the sexual passion in themselves, but therefore they 
had in Heaven, in the \Tirgin l\Iary, the in1age of won1an 
-an in1age of love. They could the nlore easily dispense 
with real woman, in lwoportion as an ideal woman was an 
object of love to then1. The greater the importance they 
attached to the denial ùf sensuality, the greater the import... 
ance of the Heavenly Virgin for them: she was to them in 
the place of Christ, in the stead of God. The more the 


:I: Inh'r ereatorem et ereaturam non potest tanta similitudo notari, quin 
inter eos major sit dissimilitudo notanda.- Later. Cone. can. 2. (Summa 
Omn. Cone. Carranza. Antw. 1559. p. 326,) The last distinction 
between man and God, between the finite anù infinite nature, to which the 
religious speculative imagination soars, is the distinction between Some- 
thing' and Nothing, Ens and Non-Ens; for only in Nothing is all COIn- 
munity with other beings abolished. 
C 



26 


THE ESSEKCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


sensual tendencies are renounced, the more sensual is the 
God to whonl they are sacrificed. For whatever is nlac1e an 
offel'ing to God has an e
pecial value attached to it; in it God 
is supposed to have especial pleasure. That which is the 
IÚghest in the estimation of nlan, is naturally the highest in 
the estÎ1nation of his God-,,
hat pleases man, pleases Goel 
also. The Hebrews did not offer to Jehovah unclean, ill- 
conditioned anÌ1llals; on the contl'ary, those which they most 
highly prized, which they themselves ate, \vere also the food 
of God (cibus Dei, Levit. iii. 2.) vVherever, therefore, the 
denial of the sensual delights is made a speeial offering, a 
sacrifice well-pleasing to God, the1'e the highest value is 
attached to the senses, and the sensuality which has been 
renounced is unconsciously restored, in the fact that God 
takes the I)lace of the material delights which have been 
l'enouncecl. The nun weds herself to God; she has a heavenly 
bridegroom, the monk a heavenly bride. But the heavenly 
virgin is only a sensible presentation of a general truth, having 
relation to the essence of religion. l\Iun denies as to himself 
only what he attributes to God. Religion abstracts from nlan, 
from the world; but it can only abstract from the lin1Ítations, 
frOJn the phenonlena, in short, fron1 the negative, not fronl the 
essence', the positive, of the world and humanity: hence, in the 
very abstraetion and negation it must. recover that frolll which 
it abstracts, or believes itself to abstract. And thus, in reality, 
,vhatever religion consciously denies-always supposing that 
what is denied by it is sOlnething essential, true, and conse- 
quently incapable of being ultinlately denied-it unconsciously 
restores in God. Thus, in religion man denies his reason; of hirn- 
self he knows nothing of God, his thoughts are only worldly, 
earthly; he can only believe what God reveals to him. But 
on this account the thoughts of God are human, earthly 
thoughts: like man, He has plans in His mind, he acconllno- 
dates hÍIllself to circlunstances and grades of intelligence, like 
a tutor with his pupils; he calculates closely the effect of his 
gifts and reyelations; he observes 111ftn in all his doings; he 
knows all things, even the most earthly, the cOlumonest, the 
most trivial. In brief, man in relation to God denies his own 
knowledge, his own thoughts, that he may place them in God. 
J\fnn gives up his personality; but in return, God, the Al- 
mighty, infinite, unlÜnited being, is a person; he denies 
human dignity, the human cgo j but in return God is to him 



THE ESSENCE OF RELIGIO
. 


27 


a selfish, egoistical being, who in all things seeks only Hiul- 
self, his own honour, his own ends; he represents God as 
sinlply seeking the :::;atisfaction of his own ::;elfishness, while 
yet He frowns on that of every other being; his God is the 
very luxury of egoism.* Religion further denies goodness as 
a quality of hlunan nature; nUlU is wicked, corrupt, incapable 
of good; but on the other hand, God is only gooa-the Good 
Being. 
Ian's nature deìuands as an object goodness, personi- 
fied as God; but is it not hereby declared that goodness is an 
essential tende:p.cy of nUU1? If IllY heart is wicked, IllY 
understanding perverted, how can I perceive and feel the holy 
to be holy, the gooLl to be good? CoulLl I perceive the 
beauty of a fine picture, if lIlY mind were æsthetically an 
absolute piece of peryersion? Though I may not be a painter, 
though I may not have the power of proLlucing what is beau- 
tifullllyself, I IllUSt yet have æsthetic feeling, æsthetic com- 
prehension, since I perceive the beauty that is presented 
to llle externally. Either goodness cloes not exist at all 
for III an, or, if it does exist, therein is revealed to the inc1i- 
vidual man the holiness anLl goodness of human nature. That 
which is absolutely opposed to nlY nature, to which I aIn 
uniteLl by no bond of sympathy, is not even conceivable or 
perceptible by me. The Holy i
 in opposition to me only fiS 
regards the modifications of my personality, but as l'egarLls my 
fundanlental nature it is in unity with me. The Holy is a 
reproach to lny sinfulness; in it I recognise lllyself as a siIUler; 
but in so doing, while I blame nlyself, I acknowledge what I 
anl not, but ought to he, anLl what, for that very reason, I, 
according to nlY destination, can he; for an "ought" which 
has no con'esponding capability, does not affect llle, is a 
ludicrous chÌ1næra without any trne relation to lny mental 
constitution. But when I acknowledge goodness as nlY desti- 
nation, as IllY law, I acknowledge it, whether consciously 01' 
unconsciously, as lIlY 0"'11 nature. Another nature than nlY 
own, one different in quality, cannot touch 111e. I can per- 
ceive sin as sin, only ,vhen I perceive it to be a contradiction 
of myself with nlyself-that is, of IllY personality with lilY 


* GlorÍam suam plus amat Deus quam omnes creaturas. "God can only 
love himself, can only think of himself, can only work for himself. In 
creating man, God seeks his own ends, his own glory," &c.- Vide P. Bayle. 
Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Philos. u. 1\Ienschh. p. 104-107. 
c 2 



28 


THE ESSEXCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


funclalnental nature. As a contradiction of the absolute, con- 
sidered .as another being, the feeling of sin is inexplicable, 
unnleanlng. 
The distinction between Augustinianism and Pelagianislll 
consists only in thi
, that the fornler expresses after the lnanner 
of religion what the latter expresses after the 11lanner of ra.- 
tionalism. Both say the sanle thing, both vindicate the good- 
ness of n1an; but Pelagianisln does it directly, in a rationalistic 
anù In oral fornl, Augustinianism indirectly, in fL nlystical, that 
is, a religious fornl.* For that which is given to man's God, 
is in truth given to man himself; what a man declares con- 
cerning God, he in truth Lleclares concerning hiInself. Augus- 
tinianisln would be a truth, and a truth opposed to Pela- 
gÌanÜnu, only if nlan had the devil for his God, anù with 
the consciousness that he was the devil, honoured, reverenceù, 
and \Yorshippecl hiIn as the highest being. But so long as 
man adores a good being as his God, so long does he con- 
template in Goel the goodness of his own nature. 
As with the doctrine of the radical corruption of hUlnan na- 
ture, so is it \vith the identical doctrine, that man can ùo 
nothing good, i. e., in truth, nothing of himself-by his own 
strength. For the denial of hunlan strength and spontaneous 
lnoral activitv to be true, the n10ral activity of Goc1lnust also 
he denied; ailcl we lnust say, with the orieñtal nihilist or pan- 
theist: the Divine being is absolutely without will or action, 
inùifferent, knowing nothing of the c1iscriInination between evil 
anù good. But he who defines God as an active being, and 
not only f'0, but as In orally active and morally critical,-as a 
being who loves, works, and rewards good, punishes, rejects, and 
('onc1en1l1S evil,-he who thus defines God, only in appearance 
denies human activity, in fact lnaking it the highest, the most 


* Pelagiani
ln denies God, religion-isti tan tam tribuunt potestatem 
voluntati, ut pietati ë:luferant orationem. (Augustin de N at. et Grat. cont. 
Pelao'Íum, c, 58.) It has only the Creator, 1'. e" Nature, as a basis, not the 
Savi
ùr, the true God of the l'eligiou
 sentiment-in a word, it denies God; 
but, as a consequence of this
 it elevates man into a God, since it makes 
him a being' not needing' God, self. sufficing, independent. (See on this 
subject Luther against Erasmus and Augustine, 1. C. C. 33.) Augusti- 
nianism denies man; but, as a consequence of this, it reduces God to the 
level of man, even to the ignonlÎny of the cross, for the f'ake of man. 
The former puts man in the l)lace of God, the latter puts God in the place 
of man; both lead to the same result-the distinction is only apparent, a 
. pious illusion. Augw;tinianism is only an inverted Pelagianism; what to 
the lattm; is a l5ul
ect, is to the former an object. 



THE ESSENCE OF RELIGION. 


29 


l'eal activitv. He who llH1.kes God act lnunanlv, declares human 
activity to 
be divine; he says: a god who is not active, and 
not nlorally or humanly active, is no god; and thus he makes 
the idea of the Godhead dependent on the idea of activity, that 
is, of hunuuI activity, for a higher he knows not. 
:1Ian-this is the mystery of religion-l)l'ojects his being into 
ol)jeetivity,* and then again nlakes hÌInself an object to this 
projected image of himself thus converted into a subject; he 
thinks of hinlself, is an object to hÜnself, but as the object of 
an object, of another being than hin1self. Thus here. J\Ian 
is an object to God. That 111an is good or evil is not indif- 
ferent to God; no! He has a lively, profound interest in 
man's being good; he wills that man sllould be good, happy- 
for without goodness there is no happiness. Thus the 
religious man virtually retracts the nothingness of human 
activity, by making his dispositions and actions an object to 
God, by making l1lall the end of God-for that which is an 
object to the nlÎnd is an end in action; by 111aking the divine 
activity a 11leanS of human salvation. ({-od acts, that Ulan may 
he good and happy. Thus nlan, while he is apparently 
hnmiliated to the lowest degree, is in truth exalted to the 
highest. Thus, in anLl through Goel, nlan has in view himself 
alone. It is true that luan places the aim of his action In 
God, but God has no other ainl of action than the 111 oral and 
eternal salvation of Ulan: thus man has in fact no other aim 
than him

lf. The divine activity is not distinct from the 
hunl an. 
How could the divine activity work on me as its object, nay, 
work in nlE', if it were essentially different ii.om nle; how could 
it have a human aÎlll, the aim of ameliorating and blessing 
man, if it were not itself hunlan? Does not the l)urpose 
determine the nature of the act? \Vhcl1 man Dlakes his nIoI'al 
Ï1nproyement an ninl to hin1self, he has divine resolutions, 
diyine projects; but abo, when God seeks the salvation of 
Juan, He has lnllllan eneh; anel a hnn1an 11lode of activity, corre- 


* The religious, tllP original mode in which man becomes ol
jective to 
himself, is (a8 i
 clearly enough explainccl in thig work) to be distinguished 
from the mode in which this occurs in reflection and speculation; the latter 
is voluntary, the former involuntary, necessary-as necessary as al't, as 
spf'ech. With the progrcsa of time, it is true, theology coincides with 
religion. 



30 


THE ESSE
CE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


sponding to these ends. Thus in God manh as only his own 
activity as an object. But, for the very reason that he regards 
his own activity as objectivp, goodness only as an object, he 
necessarily receives the inlPulse, the motive, not froln hiInself, 
but from this object. He contenlplates his nature as external 
to hinlself, anLl this nature as goodness; thus it is self-evident, 
it is mere tautology to say, that the impulse to good comes 
only from thence 'where he places the good. 
. Goel is the highest subjectivity of man abstractecl from hinl- 
self; hence Ulan can do nothing of hÜnself, all gooLllless 
comes from God. The In01'e subjective God is, tbe Inore 
completely does nlan divest hÌ111self of his subjectivity, because 
God is, per se, his relinquished self, the possession of 
which he however again vindicates to himself. As the 
action of the arteries drives the blood into the extren1Íties, 
and the action of the veins brings it back again, as life in 
general consists in a perpetual systole and diastole; so is it in 
religion. In the religious systole man propels his own nature 
ironl himself, l}e throws biJllself out\yard; in the religious 
diastole he receives the rejected nature into his heart again. 
God alone is the being who acts of hinlself,-this is the force 
of repulsion in religion; God is the being who acts in me, 
with nle, through l11e, upon nle, for 111e, is the princ.il)le of my 
salvation, of my good dispositions and actions, consequently 
my own good principle and nature,-this is the force of attrac- 
tion in l'eligion. r 
The course of religious development which has been generally 
indicated, consists specifically in this, that nlan abstracts 1110re 
and more froln God, and attributes more Hnd l110re to himself. 
This is especially apparent in the belief in revelation. That 
which to a later age or a cultured people is given by nature or 
reason, is to an earliel
 age, or to a yet uncultured people, given 
by God. Every tendency of man, however natural-even the 
impulse to clennliness, "wa
 conceived by the Israelites as a 
positive divine ordinance. From this example we again see 
that God is lowered, is conceived l110re entirely on the type of 
ordinary hUlnanity, in proportion as man detracts fi'om himself. 
How can the self-humiliation of man go further than when he 
disclaims the capability of fulfilling spontaneously the l'equire- 
ments of common decency? * The Christian religion, on the 


* Deut. xxiii. 12, 13. 



THE ESSENCE OF RELIGION. 


31 


other hand, distinguished the inlpulses anel p
ssions of man ac- 
cording to their quality, their character; it represented only 
good 8lnotions, good dispositions, good thoughts, as revela- 
tions, operations-that is, as dispositions, feelings, thoughts,- 
of God; for what God reveals is a quality of God himself: that 
of which the heart is full, overflo,,'s the lips, as is the effect 
such is the cause, as the revelation, such the being ,,'ho re- 
veals hiInself. A God who reveals hÏ1nself in good dispositions 
is a Go(l whose essential attribute is only lnoral perfection. 
The Christian religion distinguishes inward moral purity from 
external physical purity; the Israelites identified the two. * In 
relation to the Israelitish religion, the Christian religion is one 
of criticislll and freedol11. The Israelite trusted himself to ùo 
nothing except what was cOln]nandeel by God; he was without 
will even in external things; the authority of religion extende(l 
itself even to his food. The Christian religion, on the other 
hand, in all these external things, made man dellendent on 
. himself, i. e., placed in lnan what the Israelite placed out of 
hiInself, in Goel. Israel is tbe most complete presentation of 
positivism in religion. In relation to the Israeli te, the Chris- 
tian is an esprit fort, a free-thinker. Thus ùo things change. 
"\Yhat yesterday was still religion, is no longer snch to-day; 
and what to-clay is atheism, to-morrow will be religion. 


>)(: See, for example, Gen. xxxv. 2; Levit. xi. 4..t; xx. 26; and the 
Commentary of Le Clerc on these passages. 



32 


THE ESSEKCE OF CHRISTIAXITY. 


. 


PAR T I. 


THE TRUE OR ANTHROPOLOGICAL ESSENCE OF 
RELIGION. 


CH.APTER II. 


GOD AS A BEING OF THE ù
DERSTA.NDIKG. 


RELIG IO
 is the disuniting of man from himself: he sets 
God before him a8 the antithesis of himself. Goel is not ,,-hat 
Inan is-luan is not ,,,hat God is. God is the infinite, lllan 
the finite being; God is perfect, nlan Ï1llperfect; God eternal, 
Jl1an teJl1poral; God almighty, luan ".eak; God holy, man sin- 
ful. God and nlan are extremes: God is the absolutely po:::;i- 
tive, the StUll of all realities; luan the absolutely negative, 
comprehending all negations. 
But in religion ll1aU contemplates his own latent nature. 
Hence it must be shown that this antithesis, this differencing 
of God and nlan, with which religion begins, is a differencing 
of man wi th his own nature. 
The inherent necessity of this proof is at once apparent 
from this,-that if the divine nature, ,,-hich is the object of 
religion, were really different frolll the nature of luan, n. 
division, a disunion could not take place. If God is really a 
different Leing from nly:::;elf, why should his perfection trouble 
me? Disunion exists only between beings who are at variance, 
but who ought to 1e one, who can be one, and who conse- 
quently in nature, in truth, are one. On this general ground, 
then, the nature ,,-i th which man feels himself in disunion, 
must be inhorn, inllllanent in hinlself, but at the sanle tinle it 
must be of a different character from that nature or power 
.which gives hinl the feeling, the consciousness of reconciliation, 
of union with God, or, what is the same thing, with himself. 



GOD AS A BEIKG OF THE UNDERSTANDING. 33 


This nature is nothing else than the intelligence-tho reason 
or the understanding. God as the antithesis of nlan, as a 
being not lnunan, i.e., not personally human, is the objective 
nature of the understanding. The pure, perfect divine nature 
is the self-consciousness of the understanding, the conscious- 
ness which the under::;tanding has of its own perfection. The 
understanding knows nothing of the ::;uflerings of the heart; 
jt has no desires, no passions, no wants, and for that reason, 
no deficiencies and weaknesbe:s, as the heart has. 
Ien in 
wholn the intellect predon1Ïllates, who with one-sided but an 
the more characteristic definiteness, embody and perbonify for 
us the nature- of the understanding, are fì'ee fro III the anguish 
of the heart, fronl the passions, the excesses of the nlan who 
has strong enlotions; they are not l)assionately interested in 
any finite, i.e., particular object; they do not give thenlselves 
in pledge; they are free. "To want nothing, and by this 
freedom from wants to becolne like the imnlortal Goels;" 
- "not to subject ourselves to things but things to us ;" 
-" all is vanity ;"-these and similar sayings are the nlottoes 
of the men who are governed by abstract understanding. The 
understanding is that part of our nature which is neutral, im- 
l)assible, not to be bribed, not subject to illusions-the pure, 
passionless light of the intelligence. It is the categorical, 
Ünpartial consciousness of the fact as fact, because it is itself 
of an objective nature. It is the consciousness of the uncon- 
tradictory, because it is itself the nncontradictory unity, the 
source of logical identity. It is the consciousness of law, 
necessity, rule, llleasure, because it is itself the actiyity of law, 
the l1ece
sity of the nature of things under the forll1 of spon- 
taneous activity, the rule of rules, the absolute nleasure, the 
measure of measures. Onl y 1JY the understanding Call nutn 
judge and act in contradiction with his dearest hUlllan, that is, 
personal feelings, when the God of the understanding,
law, 
necessity, right,-commands it. The father who as a judge 
condemns his own son to death because he knows him to be 
guilty, can do this only as a rational not as an ml1otional being. 
The understanding shews us the faults and weaknesses even of 
our beloved ones; it shews us even our own. It is for this reason 
that it so often throws us into painful collision with ourselves, 
with our own hearts. "\Ve do not like to give rea
on the upper 
hand: we are too tender to ourselves to carry out the true, but 
hard, relentless verùict of the understanding. The under 
C 3 



34 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 



tanc1ing is the power which has relation to species: the heart 
represents 1) articular circumstances, individuals, -the under- 
standing, general circu111stances, universals; it is the super- 
lnunan, i.e., the impersonal power in man. Only by and in 
the understanding has nlan the power of abstraction from 
himself, from his subjective being, - of exalting himself to 
general ideas and relations, of di
tinguishing the object from 
the inlpressions which it produces on his feelings, of regarding 
it in and by itself without reference to hunlan personality. 
Philosophy, mathematiC's, astronomy, physics, in short, science 
in general, is the practical proof, because it is the product, of 
this truly infinite anLl divine activity. Religious nnthropoll1or- 
phisms, therefore, are in contradiction with the understanding; 
it repudiates their application to God; it denies them. But 
this God, free fronl anthropomorphisms, inlpartial, 1)H.ssionless, 
is nothing else than the nature of the understanding itself 
regarded as objectiye. 
God as God, that is, as a being not finite, not hunuln, not 
nutterially conditioned, not phenomenal, is only an object of 
thought. He is the incorporeal, formless, inco1npreh
nsible- 
the abstract, negative being: he is known, i.e., beco1nes an 
01).1ect, only by abstraction and negation (TiÛ negationis). 
'Vhy? BecfLuse he is nothing Lut the objective nature of the 
thinking power, or in general, of the power or activity, nanle 
it what you will, whereby man is conscious of reason, of Inind, 
of intelligence. There is no other spirit, that is, (for the idea 
of spirit is sÎ1nply the idea of thought, of intelligence, of 
understanding, every other spirit being a spectre of the imagi- 
nation,) no other intelligence which nlan can believ"e in or con- 
ceive, than that intelligence which enlightens him, which is 
active in hÌ1n. He can do nothing more than sel)arate the in- 
telligence from the limitations of his own individuality. The 
"infinite spirit," in distinction from the finite, is therefore 
nothing else than the intelligence disengaged fronl the limits 
of individuality and corporeality,-for individuality and cor- 
porealityare inseparable,-intelligence posited in and by itself. 
God, said the schoolmen, the Christian fathers, ancllong before 
thenl the heathen philosophers,-God is immaterial essence, 
intelligence, spirit, pure understanding. Of God as God, no 
ÏInage can be lnade; but canst thou frmne an inlage of mind? 
Has mind a form? Is not its activity the 1nost inexplicable, the 
most incapable of representation? God is inconlprehensible; 



.GOD AS A BEI
G OF THE UNDERSTANDIXG. 3;' 


but knowest thou the nature of the intelligence? Hast thou 
searched out the mysterious operation of thought, the hidden 
nature of self-conseiouslless? Is not self-consciouslless the 
enign1a of enigmas ? Did not the old mystics, schooln1en> 
and fathers, long ago con1pare the incon1prehensibility of the 
divine nature with that of the hunHln intelligence, and thus, 
in truth, identify the nature of God with the nature of llHln ?* 
Goel as God-as a purely thinkable being, an object of the in- 
tellect,-is thus nothing else than the reason in its utInost 
intensification becoIne objective to itself. It is asked what is the 
understanding or the reason? The answer is found in the idea 
of Gud. Everything nUlst express itself, reveal itself, make itself 
objective, affinn itself. Goel is the reason expressing, affirming 
itself as the highest existence. To the in1agination, the reason 
is the revelation of God; but to the reason, God is the reve- 
lation of the reason; since what reason is, what it can do, is first 
made obj ective in God. God is a need of the intelligence, a nf'ces- 
sary thought-the highest degree of the thinking power. "The 
I'eason cannot rest in sensuous things;" it can find contentn1ent 
only when it penetrates to the highest, first, necessary being, 
which can be an object to the reason alune. 'Vhy? Because with 
the conception of this being it first cOlnpletes itself, because only 
in the idea of the highest nature is the highest nature of reason 
existent, the highest step of the thinking power attained; and it 
is a general truth, that we feel a blank, ft void, a want in our- 
selves, and are consequently unhappy and unsatisfied, so long a.s 
we have not COlne to the last degree of a power, to that quo nihil 
'lnajlls cogitari potest,-so long as we cannot bring our inborn 
capacity for this or that art, this or that science, to the utn10st 
proficiency. For only in the highest proficie.ncy is art truly 
art; only in its highest degree is thought truly thought, reason. 
Only when thy thought is God, dost thou truly think, rigorously 
speaking; for only God is the realized, consnmn1ate, exhausted 
thinking power. Thus in conceiving God, man first conceives 


* AuO'ustine, in his work ContJoa ÁcaderJ'ticos, which he wrote when he 
was still in some measure a heathen, says (1. iii. c. 12), that the highest 
g'ood of man consists in the mind, or in the reason. On the other hand, in 
his Lib},. Retractationum, which he wrote as a distinguished Christian and 
theologian, he revises (1. i. c. 1) this declaration as follows:- Verius di.x- 
issenl in Deo. Ipso enim mens fruitur, ut beata sit, tanquam summo 
bono suo. But is there any distinction here? Where D1Y highest good is, 
is not there my nature also P 



86 


THE ESSEKCE OF CHRISTIA
ITY. 


reason as it truly is, though by means of the imagination he 
eonceives this divine nature as di
tinct from reason, because as 
a being affected by external things he is accustomed always to 
distinguish the object from the conception of it. AnLl here he 
applies the same process to the conception of the reason, thus, 
fur fin existence in reason, in thought, substituting an exis- 
tence in space and time, fi.'om which he had, nevertheless, pr
- 
viou
ly ab
tracted it. God, as a nletaphysical being, is the 
intelligence satisfied in itself, or rather, conversely, the intelli- 
gence batisfieù in itself, thinking itself as the absolute being, 
is God as a llletaphysical being. Hence all Inetaphysical 
!)redicates of God are Tcal predicates only when they are 1'e- 
cognised as belonging to thought, to intelligence, to the un- 
derstanding. 
The understanding is that which conditionates and co- 
ordinates all things, that which places all things in reciprocal 
dependence and connexion, because it is itself imnlediate and 
unconditioned; it inquires for the cause of all things, because 
it has its own ground and end in itself. Only that which itself 
is nothing deduced, nothing derived, can deduce and COJl- 
struct, can regard all be
Üdes itself as derived; just as only 
that which exists for its own sake can view and treat other 
things as means and instrlunents. The understanding is thus 
the original, prÜnitive being. The understanding derives all 
things from God, as the first cause, it finds the world, with- 
out an intelligent cause, given over to senseless, aimless 
chance; that is, it find
 only in itself, in it:::; own nature, the 
efficient and the final cause of the world-the existence of the 
world is only then clear and comprehensible when it sees the 
explanation of that existcnce in the source of all clear and 
intelligible ideas, i.e. in itself. The being that works with 
design, towards certain ends, i.e. with understanding, is alone 
the being that to the unLlel'stanLling has immediate certitude, 
self-evidence. Hence that which of itself has no designs, no 
purpose, must have the cause of its existence in the design of 
another, and that an intelligent being. And thus the under- 

tanding posits its own nature as the causal, fir::;t, premun- 
dane existence: i.e. being in rank the first, but in time the 
last, it makes itself the first in time also. 
The understanding is to itself the criterion of all reality. 
That which is opposed to the understanding, that which is 
self-contradictory, is nothing; that which contradicts reason, 



GOD AS A BEING OF THE UNDERSTANDING. 37 


contradicts God. For exanlple, it is a contradiction of reason 
to connect with the idea of the highest reality the limitations 
of definite tinle and place; and hence reason denies these of God, 
as contradicting his nature. The reason can only believe in a 
God who is accordant with its own nature, in a God who is not 
beneath its own dignity, who on the contrary is a realization of 
its own nature: i.e., the reason believes only in itself
 in the 
absolute reality of its own nature. The reason is not dependent 
on God, but God on the rea::)on. Eyen in the age of n1Ìracles 
and faith in authority, the understanding constitutes ittielf, at 
least fornHllly, the criterion of divinity. God is all and ean 
do all, it WltS said, by virtue of his olllnipotence; but never- 
theless he is nothing and he can do nothing which contradicts 
himself, i.e. reason. Even olllnipotence cannot do what is 
contrary to reason. Thus aùove the divine omnipotence 
stands the higher power of reason; above the nature of God 
the nature of the understanding, as the criterion of that which 
is to be affirmed and denied of God, the criterion of the posi- 
tive and negative. Canst thou believe in a God who is an 
unreasonaLle and wicked bt;ing? No, indeed; but why not? 
Because it is in contradiction with thy understanding to acce!)t 
a 'wicked and unreasonable being as divine. \Vhat then dost 
thou affirm, what is an object to thee, in God? Thy own 
understanding. God is thy highest idea, the suprenle effort 
of thy understanding, thy highest power of thought. God is 
the sum of all realities, i.e. the sum of all affirmations of the 
understanding. That whieh I recognise in the understanùing 
as e
sential, I place in God as existent: Goel is, what the 
understanding thinks as the highest. But in what I per- 
ceive to be essential, is revealed the nature of my under- 
standing, is shown the power of my thinking faculty. 
Thus the understanding is the ens 'realissÜnll'ln, the most 
real being of the old onto-theology. " Fundamentally," says 
onto-theology, "we cannot conceive God otherwise than by 
attributing to him without limit all the real qualities which we 
find in ourselves."* Our positive, essential qualities, our 
realities, are therefore the realities of God, but in us they 
exist with, in God without, lin1Ïts. But what then withdraws 
the limits from the realities, what does away with the lin1Ìts? 
The understanding. 'Vhat, aecording to this, is the nature 


:11= Kant V orles. über d. philos. Religionsl. Leipzig. 1817. p. 39. 



38 


THE ESSEXCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


conceived without lÏ1nits, but the nature of the understanding 
releasing, abstracting itself from all limits ? As thou thinkest 
God, such is thy thought ;-the measure of thy God is the 
measure of tllY understanding. If thou C'onceiyest God as 
lil11Ìted, thy understanding is 1in1Ìted; if thou conceivest God 
as unlimited, thy understanding is unlin1Ìted. If
 for example, 
thou conceivest God as a corporeal being, corporeality is the 
boundary, the lÜnit of thy understanding, thou canst con- 
ceiye notbing without a body; if on the contrary tbou deniest 
corporeality of God, this is a corroboration and proof of the 
freedo]n of thy understanding froin the limitation of corpo- 
reality. In the unlimited diyine nature thou representest only 
thy unlin1Ïted understanding. A.nd when thou declarest this 
unlimited being the ultÏ1nate essence, the highest being, thou 
sayest in reality nothing else than this: the étre suprême, the 
highest being, is the understanding. 
The understanding is further the self-subsistent anel indepen- 
dent being. That which has no understanding is not self- 
subsistent, is dependent. A man without understanding is a 
man without will. He who has no understanding allows 
himself to be deceived, .inlposed upon, used as an instrument 
by others. How shall he whose understanding is the tool of 
another, have an independent will? Onl y he who thinks, is 
free and independent. It is only ùy the understanding that 
lnan reduces the things around and beneatb him to ]11ere 
means of his own existence. In general: that only is self- 
subsistent and independent which is an end to itself, an object 
to itself. That which is an end and object to itself, is for 
that very reason-in so fill' as it is an o
ject to itself--no 
longer a nleans and object for another being. To be without 
understanding is, in one word, to exist for another,-to be an 
object: to have understanding is to exist for one8elf,-to be a 
subject. But that which no longer exists for another, but for 
itself, rejects all dependence on another being. It is true, we, 
as physical beings, depend on the heings external to us, even 
as to the nloc1ifications of thought; but in so far as we think, 
in the actiyity of tbe understanding as such, we are depen- 
dent on no otber being. Actiyity of thought is spontaneous 
actiyity. " 'Yl18n I think, I am conscious that my ego in me 
thinks, andl10t SOlne other thing. I conclude, therefore, that 
this thinking in me does not inhere in anotller thing outside 
of 1ne, but in myself, consequently that I am a substance, i.e. 



GOD AS A BEING OF THE UNDERSTANDING. 39 


that I exist by myself, without being a predicate of another 
being."* Although we always need the air, yet as natural 
l)hilosophers we convert the air from an object of our physical 
need into an object of the self-sufficing activity of thought, i,c. 
into a mere thing for us. In breathing I am the object of the 
air, the air the subject; but when I lllake the air an object of 
thought, of investigation, w"hen I analyze it, I reverse this 
relation,-I make nlyself the subject, the air an object. But 
that which is the ohject of another being is dependent. Thus 
the plant is dependent on air and light, that is, it is an oùject 
for air ancllight, not for itself. It is true that air anù light 
are reciprocally an object for the plant. Physical life, in 
general, is nothing else than this pe11Jetuai interchange of the 
objective and subjective relation. \Ve consume the air, and 
are consumed by it; we enjoy, and are enjoyed. The 
understanding alone enj oys all things without being itself 
enjoyed; it is the self-enjoying, self-sufficing existence-the 
absolute subject-the subject 'which cannot be reduced to the 
object of another being, because it makes all things objects, 
l)redicates of itself,-which comprehends all things in itself 
because it is itself not a thing, because it is free fronl all things. 
That is elependent, the possibility of whose existence lies 
out of itselî; that is independent which has the possiLility of 
its existence in itself. Life therefore involves the contradic- 
tion of an existence at once dependent and inclependent,-the 
contradiction that its possibility lies both in itself and out of 
itself. The understanding alone is free from tlús and other 
contradictions of life; it is the essence perfectly self-subsistent, 
perfectly at one with itself, perfectly self-existent.t Thinking 
is existence in self; life, as differenced from thought, exist- 
ence out of self; life is to give fronl oneself, thought is to 
take into oneself. Existence out of self is the world, exist- 
ence in self is God. To think is to be Goel. The act of 
thought, as such, is the freedonl of the immortal gods fronl 
all external limitations and necessities of life. 


* }{ant, 1. c, p. 80. 
t To guard against mistake I observp, that I do not app1y to the un- 
derstanding the expression, self-subsistent essence, and other terms of a like 
character, in my own sense, but that I am here placing myself on the 
stand-point of onto-theology, of metaphysical tlwology in general, iri 
order to shew that metaphysics is resolvable into psychology, that the onto- 
theological predicates are merely predicates of the understanding. 



40 


THE ESSEXCE OF CHRISTIA:\ITY. 


The unity of the understanding is the unity of God. To 
the understanding the consciousness of its unity and universality 
is essential; the understanding is itself nothing else than the 
consciousness of itself as absolute identity, i.e. that which is 
accordant with the undE'rstanding is to it an ãbt;olute, universally 
valid, law; it is impossible to the understanding to think that 
what is self-contradictory, false, irrational, can anywhere be 
true, and, conversely, that what is true, rational, CRn anywhere 
be false and irratil;nal. "There IYlay be intelligent 'beings 
who are not like me, and yet I am certain that there are no 
intelligent beings who know laws and truths different from 
those ,vllÍch I recognise; for every Inind necessarily sees that 
two anll two nlake four, anel that one nUlst prefer one's friend 
to one's dog."* Of an essentially different understanding from 
that which otTIrms itself in man, I have not the remotest 
conception, the faintest adumbration. On the contrary, every 
understanding which I posit as different fronl my own, is only 
a position of nlY own understanding, i.e. nn idea of my OWIl, 
a conception which falls within my power of thought, and thus 
expresses my understanding. 'Vhat I think, that I myself 
do, of course only in purely intellectualnlatters; what I think 
of as united, I unite; what I think of as distinct, I distinguish; 
what I think of as abolished, as negatived, that I myself 
abolish and nE'gative. }-'or example, if I conceive an under- 
standing in which the intuition or reality of the object is 
immediately united with the thought of it, I actually unite 
it; nlY understanding or my imagination is itself the power 
of uniting these di
tinct or Ol)posite ideas. How would it be 
possible for me to conceive then1 nnited-"whether this con- 
ception be clear or confused-if I did not unite them in 
myself? But whatever may be the conditions of the under- 
standing which a given human individual may suppose as 
distinguished fronl his own, this other unùerstanding is only 
the understanding which exists in Inan in general-the under- 
standing conceived apart fron1 the liInits of this particular indi- 
vidual. Unity is involved in the idea of the understanùing. 


:I: 
Illebranche. (See the author's Gf'sehiehte del' Philos. I. Bd. 
p. 322.) Exstaretne alibi diversa ab hac ratio P censereturque injustum 
aut seelestum in Jove aut l\farte, quod apud nos justum ac præclarum 
habetur P Certe nee veri simile nee omnino po
sibile.-Chr. IIuO'enii. 
(Cosmotheoros, lib. i.) 0 



GOD AS A BElKG OF THE U!\DERSTANDING. 41 


The impossibility for the understanding to think two SUpl'en1e 
"beings, two infinite substanceb, two Gods, is the impossibility 
for the understanding to contradict itself, to deny its own 
nature, to think of itself as divided. 
Tbe understanding is the infinite being. Infinitude is 
immediately involved in unit)T, and finiteness in plurality. 
}--'initeness-in tbe nletaphysieal sense-rests on the distinction 
of tbe existence fron1 the essence, of the inc1i vidual hom the 
species; infinitude, OIl the unity of existence and essence. 
Hence, that is finite which can be compared with other beings 
of the saIne Hpecies; that is infinite wbich has nothing like 
itself, which consequently does not stand as an individual 
under a species,. but is species and individual in one, essenèe 
and existence in one. But such is tbe understanding; it has 
its essence in itself, consequently, it bas nothing together with 
or external to itself which can be ranged beside it; it is 
jncapable of being compared, because it is itself the source of 
all combinations and conlpal'isons; inlmcaslU'able, because it is 
the measure of all measures,-we measure all things by the 
understanding alone; it can be circumscribed by 110 higher 
generalization, it can be ranged under no species, l)ecause it 
is itself the principle of all generalizing, of all classification, 
because it circumscribes all things and beings. Tbe definitions 
.which the speculative l)hilosophers and theologians giye of 
God, as the being in whom existence and essence are not 
separable, who himself is all the attributes which he has, so 
that predicate and subject are with hiln identical,-all these 
definitions are thus ideas drawn solely from the nature of the 
understanding. 
Lastly, the understanding or the reason is the necessary 
being. Reason exists because only the existence of the reason 
is reason; because, if there were no reason, no consciousness, 
all would 1e nothing; existenee ,vould be efJ.uivalent to non- 
existence. Consciousness first founds the distinction between 
existence and non-existence. In consciousness is first revealed 
the value of existence, the value of nature. 'Yhy, in general, 
does something exist? why does the world exist? on the 
simple ground that if sornething did not exist, nuthing would 
exist; if reason did not exist, there would 1,e only unreason; 
thus the world exists because it is an absurdity that the world 
should not exist. In the absurdity of its non-existence is 
found the true reason of its existence, in the groundlessness 



42 


THE ESSEKCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


of the supposition that it were not, the reas
n that it is. 
K othing, non-existence, is aÌInless, nonsensical, irrational. 
Existence alone has an aim, a foundation, rationality; exist- 
ence i:s, because only existence is reason and truth; existence 
is the absolute necessity. 'Yhat is the cause of conscious 
existence, of life? The"' need of life. But to whom is it a 
need? To that ,vhich does not live. It is not a being who 
saw that made the eye: to one who saw {thea.d y, to what 
l)urpose would be the eJe? No! only the being who saw 
110t needed the eye. 'Ve are all come into the world without 
the operation of "'knowledge find will; but we are COIlle that 
}inowledge and will may exist. 'Vhence, then, CaIne the 
.world ? Out of necessity; not out of a necessity .which lies 
in another being distinct from itself-that is a pure contra- 
diction,-hut out of its own inherent necessity; out of the 
necessity of necessity; because without the worid there would 
be no necessity; without necessity, no reason. no under. 
standing. The 
 nothing, out of ,,;hich the ,yorId canle, is 
nothing without the world. It is true that thus, negativity, 
as the Rpeculatiye philosophers express themselvcs-nnth iJlg 
is the cause of the world ;-but a nothing which aboli::,hes 
itself, i,e. a nothing which could not have existed if there had 
been no world. It is true that the world springs out of a 
want, out of privation, but it is false specula.tion to lnake 
this privation an ontological being: this want is simply the 
want which lies in the supposed non-existence of the world. 
Thus the world is only necessary out of itself and through 
itself. But the necessity of the world is the necessity of 
l'eason. The reason, as the sunl of all realities,-for what are 
all the glories of the world without lig-ltt, luuch 1110re external 
light without internal ]ight ?-the reason is the n10st indispen- 
sable being-the profoundest rind lnost essential necessity. In 
the reason first lies the self-consciousness of exiHtence, self- 
conscious existf'nce; in the reason i
 first revealed the end, 
the meaning of existcnce. Ueason is existence ohjective to 
itself as its own end; the ultin1flte tendency of things. That 
which is an object to itself is the highest, the final being: 
that which has power over itself is almighty. 



GOD AS A :M:ORAL BEING, OR L\ 'V. 


43 


CHAPTER III. 


GOD AS A 1\IORAL BEING, OR LAW. 


GOD as God-the infinite, universal, non-anthropo1l10rphic 
being of the understanding, has no more significance for reli- 
gion than a fundamental general principle has for a special 
science; it is lnerely the ultimate point of support,- as it were, 
the nlathenlatical point, of religion. The consciousness of 
human limitation or nothingness which is united with the idea 
of this being, is by no means a religious consciousness; on 
the contrary, it characterizes sceptics, materialists, and pan- 
theists. The belief in God-at least in the God of religion- 
j'3 only lost where, as in scepticism, pantheisnl, and mate- 
rialism, the belief in nlan is lost, at least in man such as 
he is presupposed in religion. As little then as religion has 
any influential belief in the nothingness of man, * so little has 
it any influential belief in that abstract being with which the 
consciousness of this nothingness is united. The vital ele- 
ments of religion are those only which nHtke man an object to 
man. To deny man, is to deny religion. 
It certainly is the interest of religion that its object should 
be distinct frOIn man; but it is also, nay, yet n10re its in- 
terest, that this ohject should have lnunan attributes. That 
he should be a distinct being concerns his existence only; but 
that he should be human concerns llÌs essence. If he be of a 
different nature, how can his existence or non-existence Le of 
any importance to man? How can he take so profound an 
interest in an existence in which his own nature hus no par- 
ticipation? 
To give an example. ""\Yhen I believe that the human 


* In religion, the representation or expression of the nothingness of man 
'before God, is the anger of God; for as the love of God is the affirmation, 
his anger is the negation of man. But even this anger is not takf'n in 
earnest. "God... is not really angry. He is not thoroughly in earnest 
even when we think that he is angry, and punishes."-Luther (T. vüi. 
p. 208). 



44 


THE ESSE
CE OF CHRISTIAKITY. 


nature alone has suffered for Ine, Christ is a poor Saviour to 
me; in that case, he needs a Saviour himself." And thus, out 
of the need for salvation, is postulated sOlnet-bing transcending 
hUlnan nature, a being different from man. But no sooner is 
this being postulaterl than there arises the yearning of nUHl 
after hiInself, after his own nature, and man is imnlediately 
re-estahlÜ,hed. " 11ere is God, who is not man and never vet 
became man. . But this is not a God for llle . . . . . That wo{tld 
be a miserable Christ to me, who. . . . . should be nothing but 
a purely separate God and divine person. . . . . without hu- 
manity. N 0, my friend, where thou givest lue God, thou nlust 
give Jne humanity too."* 
In religion man seeks contentment; religion is his llighest 
good. But how could be find consolation and peace in God, 
if God were an essentially different being? How can I share 
the peace of a ùeing if I filn not of the sanle nature with hin1 ? 
If his nature is different from nlÌne, his peace is essentially 
different,-it is no peace for me. How then can I beconle a 
partaker of his peace, if I am not a partaker of his nature; ùut 
how can I be a partaker of his nature if I anl really of a dif- 
1'eren t nature? E very being experiences peace only in its 
own element, only in the conditions of its own nature. Thus, 
if man feels peace in God, he feels it only because in God he 
first attains his true nature, Lecause here, for the first tinle, he 
is with hin15elf, because everything in which he hitherto sought 
I)eace, and which he hitherto mistook for his nature, was alien 
to him. Henee, if nlan is to find contentInent in God, he n1ust 
find himself in God. " Noone will taste of God, but as He 
wills, namely-in the humanity of Christ; and if thou clost 
not find God thus, thou wilt never have rest."t "Everything 
finds rest on tlle place in whieh it was born. The place where 
I was born is God. Gael is mv father-land. lfave I a father 
in God ? Yes, I have not only a father, but I have nlyself in 
HÜn; before I lived in n1)'self, I lived already in God."! 
A God, therefore, who expresses only the nature of the un- 
derstanding, does not satisfy religion, is not the God of religion. 


:}I: Luther, Concordienbuch, Art. 8. Erklär. 
t Luther. (Snmmtliche Schriften und ,V crke. Leipzig, 1729, fol. 
T. iii. p, 589. It is according to this edition that references are given 
throughout the present work.) 
! Predigten etzlicher Lehrer VOl' um,l zu Tauleri Zeiten. IIamburg, 
1621, p. 81. 



GOD AS A MORAL BEI
G, OR LA\V. 


45 


The understanding is intere
ted not only in man, but in the 
things out of nlan, in universal Nature. The intellectual 111an 
forgets even himself in the contemplation of Nature. The Chris- 
tiall
 :5Gorned the pagan l)hilosophers be(,t1use, instead of think- 
ing of themselves, of their own salvation, they had thought 
only of things out of theIllselves_ The Christian thinks only 
of hinlself. By the understanding an insect is contelnplateù 
with as nluch enthusiasm as the in1age of God-man. The 
understanding is the absolute indifference and identity of all 
things and beings. It is not Christianity, not religious enthn- 
simnn, but the enthusiasm of the understanding that we have 
to thank for botany, n1ineralogy, zoology, physics, and astro- 
nOlny. The understanding is universal, pantheistic, the 
love of the universe; hut the grand characteristic of reli- 
gion, allel of the Chrit;tian l'eligion especially, is, that it is 
thoroughly anthropotheistic, the exclusive love of man for hilll- 
self, the exclusive self-affirmation of the human nature, that 
is, of subjective 11lunHn nature; for it is true that the under- 
stnnding also affirn1s the nature of rYlan, but it is hi'i 
objective nature, which has reference to the object for the 
sake of the object, and the manifestation of which is science. 
Hence it 111Ust be something entirely different fronl the nature 
of the understanding which is an object to man in religion, if 
he is to find COl1tel1tJnent therein, and this 
omething will neces- 
sarily be the very kernel of religion. 
Of all the attributes which the understanding assigns to God, 
that which in religion, and especially in the Christinn religion, has 
the pre-en1Ínence, is moral perfection. But God as a morally 
perfect being is nothing else than the realized idea, the ful- 
filleel law of morality, the moral nature of man posited as 
the absolute being; luan's own nature, for the nloral God re- 
quires man to be as He himself is: Be ye holy for I am holy; 
nlan's own conscience, for how could he otherwise tremble 
before the divine Being, accuse himself before him, and make 
billl the judge of his inmost thoughts and feelings? 
But the consciousness of the absolutely perfect moral l)ature, 
especially as an abstract being separate from man, leaves us 
cold and empty, hecause we feel the distance, the chasm between 
ourselves and this being ;-it is a dispiriting consciousness, for 
it is the consciousness of our personal nothingness, and of the 
kind which is the 1110st acutely felt-moral nothingness, The 
cOllsciüusnes
 of the di, ine on1nipotence and eternity in oppo- 



46 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


... 


sition to my limitation in space ancl time does not afflict l11e: 
for omnipotence does not conlmalld nle to be myself omnipo- 
tent, eternity, to be nrvself eternal. But I cannot have the 
idea of mor"al perfectiol; without at the saine tÏIne being con- 
scious of it as It law for l11e. 
Iol'al perfection depends, at 
least for the moral consciousness, not on the nature, but on the 
will-it is a perfection of will, perfect will. I cannot conceive 
l)erfect will, the will which is in unison with law, which is 
itself la-w, without at the sanle tillle regarding it as an 
object of will, i.e., ns an obligation for myself. The conception 
of the nloral]y perfect being, is no nlerely theoretical, inert 
conception, but a practical one, calling rue to action, to in1Ïta- 
tion, throwing Dle into strife, into disunion with nlyself; for 
\vhile it proclaims to me what I ought to be, it also tells Ine to 
my face, without any flattery, what I am not.* And religion 
renders this disunion all the nlore painful, all the more terrible, 
that it sets man's own nature before hÍ1n as a separate nature, 
and nloreover as a personal being, who hates and curses sinners, 
and excludes them from his grace, the source of all salvation 
and happiness. 
Now, by what IYleRnS does man deliver himself from this 
state of d[sunion between himself and the perfect being, from 
the painful consciousness of sin, from the distressing sense of 
his own nothingness? How does he blunt the fatal sting of 
sin? Only by this; that he is conscious of lo
'e as the 
highest, the nbsolute pov{er and truth, that he rega1::ds the 
Divine Being not only as a law, as a nloral being, as a being 
of the understanding; but also as a loying, tender, even sub- 
jective human being (that is, as having synlpathy with indi- 
vid ual man.) 
The understanding judges only according to the stringency 
of law; the heart accommodates itself, is considerate, lenient, 
relenting, KftT" èÍV(JPW7TOV. No nlan is 
ufficient for the law 
which moral perfection sets before us; but for that reason, 
neither is the law sufficient for l1lan, for the heart. The law 
condenlns; the heart has compassion even on the sinner. The 
law affirms me only as an abstract being,-love, as a real 


:}I: "That which, in our own judgment, derogates from our splf-conceit, 
humiliates us. Thus the moral law inevitably humiliates every man, 
when he compares with it the sensual tendency of his nature."-Kant, 
Kritik del' prakt. Vernunft. Fourth edition, p. 132. 



GOD AS A MORAL BEING, OR LA 'V. 


47 


being. Love gives me the consciousness that I am a mall; 
the law only the consciousness that I am a sinner, that I am 
worthless. * The law holds man in bondnge; love makes him 
free. 
Love is the middle term, the substantial 110nd, the principle 
of reconciliation between the perfect and the imperfect, the 
sinless and sinful being, the universal and the individual, the 
di vine and the lnunan. Love is God hinlself, and apart from 
it there is no God. Love makes man God, and God man. 
Love strengthens the weak, and ,veakens the strong, abases 
the high and raises the lowly, idealizes matter and materializes 
spirit. Love is the true unity of God and man, of spirit 
and nature. In love common nature is spirit, and the pre- 
eminent spirit is nature. Love is to deny spirit from the 
point of view of spirit, to deny matter from the point of view 
of matter. Love is materialism; . Ï1nnHlterial love is a 
chiuuera. In the longing of love after the distant object, the 
abstract idealist involuntarily confirms the truth of sensuousness. 
But love is also the idealism of nature, love is also spirit, 
esprit. Love alone makes the nightingale a songstress; love 
alone gives the plant its corolla. .L
nd what wonders dops not 
love work in our social life! 'Vhat faith, creed, opinion 
separates, love unites. Love even, humorously enough, 
identifies the high noblesse with the people. \Vhat the old 
m)'stics said of God, that he is the highest and yet the com- 
nlonest being, applies in truth to love, and that not a visionary, 
imaginary love-no! a real love, a love which has flesh and 
blood, which vibrates as an almighty force through ullliving. 
Yes, it applies only to the love which has flesh and blood, 
for only this can absolve fronl the sins which flesh and blood 
commit. A merely moral being cannot forgive what is con- 
trary to the law of morality. That which denies the law, is 
denied by the law. The llloral judge, who ùoes not infuse 
human blood into his judgment, judges the sinner relentlessly, 
inexorably. Since, then, God is regarded as a sin-pardoning 
being, he is posited, not indeed as an unmoral, but as more than 
a moral being-in a word, as a lnllllan Leing. The negation or 
annulling of sin is the negation of abstract Inoral rectitude,-the 


* Omnes recravimus . . . . . . Parricidæ cum lege cærerunt et iBis 
facinus pæna monstravit.-Seneca. "The law destroys us."-Luther, 
(Th. xvi. s. 320). 



48 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


positing of love, n1ercy, sensuous life. Not abstract l)eings- 
no! only sensuous, liying beings, are merciful. 
Iercy is 
the jllsticf' of senSllOUS ltfe.* Hence, God does not forgive 
the sins of nlen as the abstract Goel of the understanding, but 
as n1an, as the God made flesh, the visible God. God as man 
sins not, it is true, but he knows, he takes on hin1self, the 
sufferings, the wants, the needs of sensuous beings. The 
blood of Christ eleanses us from our sins in the eyes of God; 
it is only his human blood that makes God mer
iful, allays 
his anger: tha t is, our sins are forgiven us, because we are no 
abstract beings, but creatures of flesh and blood.t 


* "Das Rechtsgefühl del' Sinnlichkeit." 
t "This, my God anù Lord, has taken upon him my nature, flesh and 
blood such as I haye, and has been tempted and has suffered in all things 
like me, but without sin; therefore he can have pity on m)T weakne
s.- 
Hebrews v. Luther (Th. xvi. s. 533). "The deeper we can bring Christ 
into the flesh the better."-(Ibid. s. 565). "God himself, when he is ùealt 
with out of Christ, is a trrrible God, for no consolation is found in him, 
but pure anger and disfavour."-(Th. xv. s. 298.) 



THE l1IYSTERY OF THE IKCARNATION. 


49 


CHAPTER I\T. 


THE MYSTERY OF THE INCARNATIO
; OR, GOD AS LOVE, 
AS A BEI
G OF THE HEART. 


IT i::; the consciousness of love by which man reconciles him- 
self with God, or rather with his own nature as represented in 
the moral law. The consciousness of the divine love, or what 
is the same thing, the contemplation of God as hl1Jl1an, is the 
mystery of the Incarnation. The Incarnation is nothing else 
than the practical, material manifestation of the human nature 
of God. God did not become man fox his own sake; the need, 
the want of man-a want 'which still exists in the religious 
sentÌ1nent-was the cause of the Incarnation. God became 
man out of mercy: thus he was in himself already a human 
God before he became an actual man; for human want, hUlnan 
misery, went to his heart. The Incarnation was a tear of the 
divine compassion, anel hence it was only the visible advent of 
a Being having human feelings, and therefore essen tially 
human. 
If in the Incarnation we stop short at the fact of God becom- 
ing man, it certainly appears a surprising, inexplicable, mar- 
vellous event. But the incarnate God is only the apI)arent 
manifestation of deified man; for the descent of God to man 
is necessarily preceded by the exaltation of man to God. l\Ian 
was already in God, was already God himself, before God 
became man, i. e., showed himself as man.* How otherwise 
could God have become man? The old maxÌ1n, ex nihilo 
nihil fit, is Hpplicable here also. A king 'who has not the wel- 


* "Such descriptions as those in which the Scriptures speak of God as of 
a man, and ascribe to him all that is human, are very sweet and cOlnforting 
-namely, that he talks with us as a friend, and of such things as men are 
wont to talk of with each other, that he rejoices, sorrows, and suffers, like 
a man, for the sake of the mystery of the future humanity of Christ."- 
Luther (T. ii. p. 334). 


D 



50 


THE ESSEKCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


fare of his subjects. at heart, who while seated on his throne 
does not mentally liye with them in their dwellings, who, in 
feeling, is not, as the people say, "a connllon ulan," such a 
king will not descend bodily from his throne to make his 
people happy by his personal presence. Thus, has not the 
subject risen to be a king, before the king descends to be a 
subject? And if the subject feels himself honoured and made 
happy by the personal presence of his king, does this feeling 
refer merely to the bodily presence, and not rather to the mani- 
festatÏon of the disposition, of the philanthropic nature which 
is the cause of the appearance? But that which in the truth 
of religion is the cause, takes in the ('on
ciousness of religion 
the forDl of a consequence; and so here the raising of man to 
God is maùe a consequence of the humiliation or descent of 
God to DHln. God, says religion, made hinlself hUJllan that 
he Inight make man divine. * 
That which is lnysterious and inconlprehensiLle, i. e., con- 
tradictory, in the proposition, "God is or 1)ecomes a llUtn," 
arises only from the nÜngling or confusion of the idea or defi- 
nitions of the universal, unlimited, nletaphysical being with 
the idea of the religious God, i. e., the conditions of the under- 
standing with the conditions of the heart, the eIllotive nature; 
a confusion which is the greatest hinderance to the COlTect 
kno-\vledge of religion. But in fact the idea of the Incarnation 
is nothing more than the human fonn of a God, who already 
in his nature, in the profoundest clep ths of his soul, is a merciful 
and therefore a InUllan God. 
The fOlTIl given to this truth in the doctrine of the church 
is, that it was not the first person of the Goclhead who was 
incarnate, but the second, who is the representative of man 
in and before God; the second person being however in 
reality, as will be shown, the sole, trne, first person in religion. 
And. it is only apart from this distinction of persons, that the 
G0d-lnan appears nlysterious, incomprehensible, " speculative ;" 
for, considered in connexion with it, the Incarnation is a 


* "Deus homo factus est, ut homo Deug fieret."-Augustinus (Serm. 
ad Pop, p. 371, c. 1). In Luther, however, (T. i, p. 33 L t,) there is a passage 
which indicates the hue relation. 'Vhen l\Ioses called man "the image of 
God, the likeness of God," he meant, says Luther, obscurely to intimate 
that "God was to become man." Thus here the incarnation of God is 
clearly enough represented as a consequenee of the deification of man. 



THE MYSTERY OF THE INCARXATION. 


51 


necessary, nay, a self-evident consequence. The allegation, 
therefore, that the Incarnation is a purely empirical fact, which 
could be made known only by means of a revelation in the 
theological sense, betrays the most crass religious materinlisn1; 
for the Incarnation is a conclusion which rests on a "Very com- 
prehensible IJremiss. But it is equally perverse to attempt to 
deduce the Incarnation from purely speculative, i. e., l11etaphy- 
sicaI, abstract grounds; for metaphysics apply only to the first 
person of the Godhead, who does not becon1e incarnate, who is 
not a dranlatic person. Such a deduction would at the utmost 
be justifiable if it were nleant consciously to deduce from meta- 
physics the negation of metaphysics. 
This exanlple clearly exhibits the distinction between the 
method of our philosophy and that of the old speculative 
philosophy. The former does not philosophize concerning the 
Incarnation as a peculiar, stupendous nlystery, after the manner 
of speculation dazzled by mystical splenclour; on the contrary it 
destroys the illusive supposition of a peculiar supernatural 
mystery; it criticises the dogma and reduces it to its natural 
elements, immanent in nlan, to its originating principle und 
central point-love. 
The dogma presents to us two things-God and love. God 
is love: but what does that mean? Is God sOllletl1Ïng besides 
love? a being distinct from love? Is it as if I said of an., 
affectionate human being, he is love itself? Certainly; other- 
wise I must give up the name God, which expresses a special 
personal being, a subject in distinction from the predicate. 
Thus love is made sonlething apart: God out of love sent his 
only-1)egotten Son. Here love recedes and sinks into insigni- 
ficance in the dark background-God. It becomes merely a 
personal, though an essential, attribute; hence it receives 
both in theory and in feeling, both objectively and subjectively, 
the rank simply of a predicate, not that of a subject, of the 
substance; it shrinks out of 01)servation as a collateral, an 
accident; at one moment it presents itself to me as some- 
thing essential, at another, it vanishes again. God appears 
to me in another fonn besides that of love; in the form 
of omnipotence, of a severe power not bound by love, a 
po,ver in which, though in a smaller degree, the devils 
participate. 
So long as love is not exalted into a substance, into an essence, 
so long there lurks in the background of love a subject, who 
D 2 



52 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


even without love is something by hiInself, an unloving monster, 
a diabolical being, whose personality :separable and actually 
separated froln love, delights in the blood of heretics and unbe- 
lievers,-the phantom of religious fanaticism. Nevertheless 
the essential idea of the Incarnation, though enveloped in the 
night of the religious consciousness, is love. Love determined 
God to the renunciation of his divinitv. * Not because of his 
Godhead as such, according to which. he is the subject in the 
proposition-God is love, but because of his love, of the pre- 
dicate, is it that he renounced his Gòdhead; thus love is a 
higher power and truth than Deity. Love conquers God. It 
was love to which God sacrificed his divine mt
esty. And 
what sort of love was that? another than ours? than that to 
which we sacrifice life and fortune? 'Vas it the love of hiIn- 
self? of himself as God? No! it was love to man. But is 
not love to lllan Inuuan love? Can I love man without loving 
him humanly, without loving him as he himself loves, if he 
truly loyes ? ,""'" ould not love be otherwise a devilish love? 
The devil too loves man, but not for man's sake-for his own; 
thus he loves lnan out of egotism, to aggrandize himself, to 
extend his power. But God loves man for man's sal(e, i. e., 
that he may make him good, happy, blessed. Does he not 
then loye nlan, as the true man loves his fellow? Has love a 
plural? Is it not everywhere like itself? 'Yhat then is the 
true unfalsifiecl import of the Incarnation, but absolute, pure 
love, without adjunct, without ft distinction between divine and 
hUlnan love? For though there is also a self-interested love 
among men, still the true human love, which is alone worthy 
of this nmne, is that which impels the sacrifice of self to another. 
Who then is our Saviour and Redeemer? God or Love? 
Love; for God as God has not saved us, but Love, which 


* It was in this sense that the old unconlpromising enthusiastic faith 
celebrated the Incarnation. Amor triumphat ùe Deo, says St. Bernard. 
And only in the sense of a real self-renunciation, self-negation of the God- 
head, lies the reality, the 'l'i,yof the Incarnation; although this self-nega- 
tion is in itself merely a conception of the imagination, for, looked at in 
þroad daylight, God doe::; not negative hilnself'in the Incarnation, but he 
shews himself as that which he is, as a human being. The fabrications 
which nlodern rationalistic orthodoxy and pietistic rationalism have ad- 
vanced concerning the Incarnation, in opposition to the ra})turous eoncep- 
tions and exprpssions of ancient faith, do not deserve to be mentioneù, 
till 
less controverted. 



THE 
IYSTERY OF THE INCARNATION. 


53 


transcends the difference between the divine and human per- 
sonality. A.s God llas renounced hÏ1nself out of love, so we, 
out o(love, should renounce God; for if we do not sacrifice 
God to lovf', \\e ::;acrifiue love to God, and, in ::-.pite of the pre- 
dicate of love, we have the God-the evil being-of religious 
fanaticism. 
'Ybile, however, we have laid open this nucleus of truth in 
the Incarnation, we have at the same tÎ1ne exhibited the 
dOgl1UL in its falsity, we have reduced the apparently super- 
natural and super-rational mystery to a sÏ1l1ple truth inherent 
in hunlan n
tture :-a truth which does not Lelong to the 
Christian religion alone, but ,vhich, implicitly at least, belongs 
more or le
s to every religion u::; such. J'or every religion 
which has any claim to the name, presupposes that God is 
not indifferent to the beings who worship him, that therefore 
what is human is not alien to hinl, that, as an object of 
human veneration, he is a human Goel. Every prayer dit;- 
closes the Recret of the lncarnation, every l1rayer is in fact 
an incarnation of God. In prayer I involve God in human 
distress, I Inake hÏ1u a participator in my sorrows and wants. 
God is not deaf to my complaints; he has cOlnpassion on 
n18; hence he renounces his divine n1ajesty, his exaltation 
above all that is finite and lllllllan; he becomes a man with 
man; for if he lit-tens to me, and pities Ine, he is affecte(l 
by nlY sufferings. God loves BULn-i.e. Goel suffers from 
man. Love does not exist without syn1pathy, sympathy does 
not exist without su.ffering in COl111110n. Have I any synlpathy 
for a being without feeling ? No! I feel only for that 
which has feeling-only for that which partakes of nly nature, 
for that in which I feell11yse1f
 whose sufferings I myself suffer. 
SYlnpathy pre
uppo
es a like nature. The Incarnation Provi- 
dence, prayer, are the expression of this identity of nature in 
God and man.* 
It is true that theology, which is pre-occupied with the 
metaphysical attributes uf eternity, unconelitionedness, un- 
changeableness, and the like abstractions, which express the 
nature of the unelerstancling,-theology denies the possibility 


* "Nos scimus affici Deum misericordia nostri et non solum respicere 
lacrymas nostras, sed etiam nUlUerarf' stillulas, sicut scriptum in Psalmo LVI. 
Filius Dei vere afficitur sensu Iniseriarmn nosh-arum." -l\Ielancthonis et 
aliorum (Declam. T. iii. p. 286, p. 450). 



54 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


that God should suffer, but in so doing it denies the truth of 
religion. * For religion-the religious luan in the act of 
devotion, believes in a real sympathy of the divine being in 
his sufferings and wants, believes that the will of God can be 
determined by the fervour of prayer, i. e. by the force of feel- 
ing, believes in a real, present fulfilment of his desire, wrought 
by prayer. The truly religious man unhesitatingly assigns 
his own feelings to God; God is to him a heart susceptible to 
all that is human. The heart can betake itself only to the 
heart; feeling can appeal only to feeling; it finùs co
solation 
in itself, in its own nature alone. 
The notion that the fulfilment of prayer has been deter- 
mined froln eternity, that it was originally included in the 
plan of creation, is the empty, absurd fiction of a Inechanical 
mode of thought, which is in absolute contradiction with the 
nature of religion. " 'Ve need," says Lavater sonlewhere, 
and quite corn'ctly according to the religious sentiment, "an 
arbitrary God." Besiùes, even according to thið fiction, God 
is just as much a being deternlined by man, as in the real, 
present fulfilment consequent on the power of prayer; the 
only difference is, that the contradiction with the unchange- 
ableness and unconditionedness of God-tbat which con- 
stitutes the difficulty-is thrown back into the deceptive 
distance of the past or of eternity. "\Vhether God decides 
on the fulfilment of my prayer now, on the iInInediate occasion 
of my offering it, or whether he did decide on it long ago, 
is fundamentally the same thing. 
It is the greatest inconsequence to reject the idea of a God 
who can be determined by prayer, that is, by the force of 
feeling, as an unworthy anthropomorphic idea. If we once 
believe in a being who is an object of veneration, an object of 
prayer, an object of affection, who is providential, who 
takes care of nlnn,-in a Providence, which is not conceivable 
without love,-in a being, therefore, who is loving, whose motive 


* St. Bernard resorts to a charmingly sophistical play of words:- 
" Impassibilis est Deus, seù non inc01npassibilis, cui proprium est misereri 
semper et parcere."-(Sup. Cant. Sermo 26.) As if compassion were not 
suffering-the suffering of love, it is true, the suffering of the heart. But 
what does suffer, if not thy sympathising heart? No love, no suffering. 
The material, the source of suffering, is the universal heart, the common 
bond of all beings. 



THE MYSTERY OF THE INCARN 1\.,TION. 


55 


of action is love: we also believe in a being, ,,,ho has, if not 
an anatomical, yet a psychical human heart. The religious 
mind, as has heen said, places everything in God, excepting 
that alone which it despises. The Christians certainly gave 
their God no attributes which contradicted their own moral 
id
as, but they gave him without hesitation, and of necessity, 
the emotions of love, of conlpassion. And the love which the 
religious mind places in <1od is not an illusory, inutginary 
love, but a real, true love. God is loved and loves again; 
the divine love is only hunlan love nUl-de objective, affirming 
itself. In God love is absorbed in itself as its own ultimate 
truth. 
It may be objected to the import here assigned to the Incar- 
nation, that the Christian Incarnation is altogether peculiar, 
that at least it is different (which is quite true in certain 
respects, as will hereafter be apparent) from the incarnations 
of the heathen deities, whether Greek or Indian. These latter 
are mere products of men or deified men; but in Christianity 
is given the idea of the true God; here the union of the divine 
nature with the human is first significant and "speculative." 
Jupiter transfornls himself into a bull; the heathen incar- 
nations are mere fancies. In paganism there is no more in 
the nature of God than in Lis incarnate manifestation; in 
Christianity, on the contrary, it is God, a separate, super- 
hlunan being, who appears as Jnan. But this objection is 
refuted hy the rell1ark already made, that even the pren1Ìss of 
the Christian Incarnation contains the human nature. God 
loves man; lnoreover God has a Son; Goel is a father; the 
relations of humanitv are not excluded fronl God; the hUl1Hìn 
is not renlote frolll "'God, not unknown to hinl. Tht'ffi here 
also there is nothing more in the nature of God than in 
the incanutte nlanifestation of God. In the Incarnation 
religion only confesses, what in reflection on i'tself, as theo- 
logy, it will not adn1Ït; namely, that God is an altogether 
IUllllan being. The Incarnation, tIle lnystery of the "God- 
man," is therefore no mysterious composition of contraries, 
no synthetic fact, as it is regarded by the speculative re- 
ligious philosophy, which has a particular delight in con- 
tradiction; it i:s an analytic fact,-a human word with a 
hunlan meaning. If thei-e be a contradiction here, it lies 
before the incarnation and out of it; in the union of provi- 
dence, of love, with deity; for if this love is a real love, it is 



56 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


not essentially different from our love,-there are only our 
liInitations to .be abstracted from it; and thus the Incarn.atiol1 
is only the strongest, deepest, nlost palpable, open-hearted 
expression of this providence, this love. Love knows not 
how to make its object happier than ùy rejoicing it with its 
personal presence, by letting itself be seen. To see the invi- 
sible benefactor face to face is the most ardent desire of love. 
To see is a divine act. Happiness lies in the mere sight of 
the beloved one. The glance is the certainty of love. And 
the Incarnation has no other significance, no other effect, than 
the indubitable certitude of the love of God to man. Love 
remains, but the incarnation upon the earth passes away: the 
appearance was limited by time and place, accessible to few; 
but the essence, the nature which was manifested, is eternal 
and universal. 'Ve can no longer believe in the Inanifestation 
for its own sake, but only for the sake of the thing manifested; 
for to us there remains no imnlediate presence but that of 
love. 
The clearest, most irrefragable proof, that man in religion 
contemplates himself as the object of tIle divine Being, as the 
end of the divine activity, that thu8 in religion he has relation 
only to his own nature, only to himself,-the clearest, most 
irrefragable proof of this is. the love of God to man, the 
basis and central point of religion. God for the sake of man 
enlPties himself of his Godhead, lays aside his Godhead. 
Herein lies the elevating influence of the Incarnation; the 
highest, the perfect being humiliates, lowers hÍ1nself for the 
sake of man. Hence, in God I learn to estimate my own 
nature; I have value in the sight of Goel; the divine sig- 
nificañce of my nature is become evident to me. How 
can the worth of man be 1110re strongly expre8sed than when 
God, for man's sake, becomes a man, when man is the end, 
the object of the divine love? The love of God to 111an 
is an essential condition of the divine Being: God is a 
God who loves nle-who loves man in general. Here lies 
the emphasis, the fundmnental feeling of religion. The 
love of God makes nle luving; the love of God to man 
is the cause of lIlan's love to God; the di\Tine love causes, 
awakens human love. " \Ye love God because he first loved 
us." \Yhat, then, is it that I love in God? Love: love to 
man. TInt when I love and worship the love with which God 
loves man, do I not love man; is not my love of God, though 



THE MYSTERY OF THE IKCAR
ATION. 


57 


indirectly, loye of man? If God lov
s n1an, is not 111an, then, 
the very 
ubstance of God? That which I love-is it not 
IllY inIllost being? Have I a lleart when I do not love? 
No! love only is the heart of luan. But what is love without 
the thing loved? Thus what I love is my heart, the :substance 
of my being, my nature. \Yhy does man grieve-why does 
he lose pleasure in life, when he has lost the beloved 
object? \Vhy? because with the beloved object he has lost 
his heart, the activity of his affections, the principle of life. 
Thus, if God loves luan, nlan is the heart of God-the welfare 
of man his deepest anxiety. If man, then, is the object of 
God, is not man, in God, an object to himself? is not the con- 
tent of the divine nature the human nature? If God is love, 
is not the essential content of this love, man? Is not the love 
of God to man-the basis and central point of religion-the 
love of man to himself Illade an object, contemplated as the 
highest ohjective truth, as the highest Being to 111fln? Is not 
then the proposition, "God loves man" an orientalism (religion 
is essentially oriental), which in plain speech means, the highest 
is the love of man ? 
The truth to which, l)y means of analysis, we have here 
reduced the lnystery of the Incarnation, has also been recognised 
even in the religious consciousness. Thus I
uther, for example, 
says, "He who can truly conceive such a thing (namely, the 
incarnation of God) in his heart, should, for the sake of the 
flesh and blood which sits at the right hand of God, bear love 
to all flesh and bloo(l here upon the rarth, and never more be 
able to be angry with any man. The gentle manhood of 
Christ our God, should at a glance fill all hearts with joy, so 
that never more could an angry, unfriendly thought come 
therein-yea, every In an ought, out of great joy, to be tender 
to his fellow-man, for the sake of that our flesh and blood.'! 
" This is a fact which should nlove us to great joy and hlissful 
hope, that we are thus honoured above all creatures, evpn above 
the angels, so that .we can with truth boast,-nlY own flesh and 
bloo(l sits at the right hand of God, and reigns over all. Such 
honour has no creature, not even an angel. Thi::; ought to 
be a furnace that should melt us all into one heart, and shoulc1 
create such a fervour in us men that we should heartily love 
each other." But that which in the truth of religion is the 
essence of the fable, the chief thing, is to the religious con.. 
sciousness only the moral of the fable, a collateral thing. 
D 3 



58 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


CHAPTER V. 


THE 1\IYSTERY OF THE SUFFERING GOD. 


AN essential condition of the incarnate, or, what is the same 
thing, the human God, namely, Christ, is the Passion. Love 
attests itself by suffering. All thoughts and feelings which 
fire immediately associated with Christ, concentrate theITIse1ves 
in the idea or" the Passion. God as God is the sum of all 
human perfection; Goel as Christ is the sum of all human 
misery. The heathen philosophers celebrated activity, especially 
the spontaneous activity of the intelligence, as the highest, the 
divine; the Christians consecrated passivity, even placing 
it in God. If God as act1tS purus, as pure activity, is the 
God of abstract philosophy; so, on the other hand, Christ, 
the God of the Christians, is the passio pura, pure suffering- 
the highest metaphysical thought, the étre s'llpré'me, of the heart. 
For what makes more Ìlnpression on the heart than suflering? 
especially the suffering of one who considered in himself is 
free fronl suffering, exalted above it ;-the suffering of the in- 
nocent, endured purely for the good of others, the suffering of 
10ve,-self-sacrifice? But for the very reason that the history 
of the Passion is the history which most deeply affects the 
human heart, or let us rather say the heart, in general-for it 
would be a ludicrous mistake in man to attempt to conceive any 
other heart than the human,-it follows undeniably that 
nothing else is expressed in that history, nothing else is made 
an object in it, but the nature of the heart,-that it is not an 
invention of the understanding or the poetic facu1ty, but of the 
heart. The heart, however, does not invent in the same way 
as the free imagination or intelligence; it has a pa
sive, recep- 
tive relation to what it produces; all that proceeds from it 
seems to it given from without, takes it by violence, works 
with the force of irresistible necessity. The heart overcomes, 
masters man; he who is once in its power is possessed as it 
were by his demon, by his God. The heart knows no other 



THE :\lYSTERY OF THE SUFFERIXG GOD. 59 


God, no nlore excellent being than itself, than a God whose 
name may indeed be another, but whose nature, whose sub- 
stance, is the nature of the heart. And out of the heart, out 
of the inward Ï1npulse to do good, to live and die for Ilian, out 
of the divine instinct of beneyolence which desireS""to make all 
happy, and excludes none, not even the nlost abandoned and 
abject, out of the moral duty of benevolence in the highest 
sense, as having become an inward necessity, i,e., a lllovement 
of the heart,-out of the human nature, therefore, as it reveals 
itself through the heart, has sprung what is best, what is true 
in Christianity-its essence purified from theological dogmas 
and contradictions. 
For, according to the principles which we have already 
developed, that which in religion is the predicate, "
e must 
make the subject, and that which in religion is a subject we 
must nlake a predicate, thus inverting the oracles of rf'ligion; 
and by this nleans we arrive at the truth. God sufiÈn's- 
suffering is the predicate-but for men, for others, not for 
hinlself. 'Vhat does that mean in plain speech? nothing else 
than this: to sufier for others is divine; he who suffers for 
others, who lays down his life for them, acts divinely, is a God 
to 111en. * 
The passion of Christ, however, represents not only moral, 
voluntary suffering, the suffering of love, the power of sacrificing 
self for the good of others; it represents also suffering as such, 
suffering in so far as it is an expression of passibility in 
general. The Christian religion is so little superhuman, that 
it even sanctions hUluan weakness. The heathen philosopher. 
on hearing tidings of the death of his child, exclaims: "I 
knew tlHtt he was mortal." Christ, on the contrary,-at least 
in the Bible,-sheds tears over tIle death of Lazarus, a death 
which he nevertheless knew to be only an apparent one. 'Vhile 
Socrates empties the cup of poison with unshaken soul, Christ 


* Religion speaks by example. Example is the law of religion. 'Vhat 
Christ did, is law. Christ suffered for others; therefore, we should do 
likewige. "Quæ necessitas fuit ut sic exinaniret se, sic humiliaret se, sic 
abbreviaret se Dominus majestatis; nisi ut vos similiterfaciatisP" - Rcrnardus 
(in Die nat. Domini). " We ought studiously to consider the example of 
Christ . . . . .. That would move us and incite us, so that we from our 
hearts should willingly help and serve other people, even though it might. 
be hard, and we must suffer on account of it."-Luther (T. xv. p. 40). 



60 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


exclaiuls: "If it be possible, let this cup pas::3 from llle."* 
Christ is in this respect the self-confession of human sensibility. 
In OlJposition to the heathen, and in particular the stoical 
principle, with its rigorous energy of will and self-sustainedness, 
the Christirn involves the consciousness of his own sensitive- 
ness and susceptibility in the consciousness of God; he finds 
it, if only it be no sinful weakness, not denied, not condemned 
in God. 
To suffer is the highest command of Christianity-the 
history of Christianity is the history of the Passion of 
Humanity. 'Vhile amongst the heathens the shout of sensual 
pleasure mingled itself in the worship of the gods, alnongst 
the Christians, we mean of course the ancient Christians, 
God is served with sighs and tears.t But as .where sounds 
of sensual pleasure nlake a part of the cultus, it is a sensual 
God, a God of life, who is worshipped, as indeed these shouts 
of joy are only a symbolical definition of the nature of the 
gods to whom this jubilation is acceptable; so also the sighs 
of Christians are tones which proceed from the inmost soul, 
the inmost nature of their God. The God expressed by the 
cultus, whether this be an external, or, as with the Christians, 
an inward spiritual worship, - not the God of sophistical 
theology,-is the true God of miln. But the Christians, we 
nlean of course the ancient Christians, believed that they 
rendered the highest honour to their God by tears, the tears of 
repentance and yearning. Thus tears are the light-reflecting 
drolJS which mirror the nature of the Christian's God. But a 
God who has pleasure in tears, expresses nothing else than 
the nature of the heart. It is true that the theory of the 
Christian religion says: Chnst has done all for us, has redeemed 
us, has reconciled us with God; and from hence the inference 
Il1ay be drawn: Let us be of a joyful mind and disposition; 
what need have we to trouble ourselves as to how \ve shall 
reconcile ourselves with God? we are reconciled already. But 
the Ï1nperfect tense in which the fact of suffering is expressed, 


, 


* "Hærent plerique hoc loco. Ego autem non solum excm
andum non 
puto, sed etiam nusquam magis pietatem ejus m(
e
tatemque demiror. 
l\Iinus enim contulerat mihi, nisi meum suscepisset affectum. Ergo pro 
me doluit, qui pro 6e nihil habuit, quod doleret."-Ambrosius (Exposit. in 
Lu('æ Ev. 1. x. c. 22). 
t "Quando enim illi (Deo) appropinquare auderemus in sua impassi- 
bilitate mauenti p"-Bernardus (Tract. de xii. Grad. Humil. et Superb.). 



THE l\1YSTERY OF THE SUFFERING GOD. 61 


makes a deeper, a more enduring impression, than the perfect 
tense ,yhich expresses the fact of redemption. The redemption 
is only the result of the suffering; the suffering is the cause 
of the redemption. Hence the suffering takes deeper root in 
the feelings; the suffering makes itself an object of in1Ïtation ;- 
not so the redemption. If God himself suffered for my sake, 
how can I be joyful, how can I allo,v myself any gladness, at 
least on this corrupt earth, which was the theatre of his suffer- 
ing ?* Ought I to fare better than God? Ought I not, 
then, to make his sufferings my own? Is not what God my 
Lord does, my model? Or shall I share only the gain, and 
not the. cost also? Do I know n1erely that he has redeemed 
me ? Do I not also know the history of his suffering? 
Should it be an object of cold remembrance to me, or even an 
object of rejoicing, because it has purchased my salvation? 
'Yho can think so-who can "Wish to be exempt from the 
sufferings of his God ? 
The Christian religion is the religion of suffering. t The 
images of the crucified one which we still meet with in all 
churches, represent not the Saviour, but only the crucified, the 
suffering Christ. Even the self-crucifixions an10ng the Chris- 
tians are, psychologically, a deep-rooted consequence of their 
religious views. How should not he who has always the image 
of the crucified one in his mind, at length contract the desire 
to crucify either himself or another? At least "We have as 
good a warrant for this conclusion as Augustine and other 
fathers of the church for their reproach against the heathen 
religion, that the licentious religious in1ages of the heathens 
provoked and authorized licentiousness. 
God suffers, means in truth nothing else than: God is a 
heart. The heart is the source, the centre of all suffering. 
A lJeing without suffering is a being without a heart. The 
mystery of the suffering God is therefore the mystery of 
feeling, sensibility. A suffering God is a feeling, sensitive 
God.! But the proposition: God is a feeling "Being, is only 


* "Deus meus pendet in patibulo et ego voluptati operam dabo P" (Form. 
Hon, Vitæ. Among the spurious writings of St. Bernard.) "l\IemoriacrucifÌxi 
crucifigat in te carnem tuam,"-Joh. Gerhard (l\Tedit. sacræ, 1\1. 37). 
t "It iR better to suffer evil, than to do good."-Luther (T. iv. s. 15). 
::: "Pati voluit, ut compati disceret, miser fieri, ut misereri disceret."- 
Benlhard (de Grad.), "l\'Iiserere nostri, quoniam carnis imbecillitatem, tu ipse 
cam passus, expertus es."-Clemens Alex. Pædag. 1. i. c. 8. 



62 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


the religious peri1)hrase of the proposition: feeling is absolute, 
divine in its nature. 
ThIall has the cOl1
ciousl1es::) not only of a spring of activity, 
but also of a spring of suffering in hinlself. I feel; and I 
feel feeling (not merely will and thought, which are only too 
often in opposition to me and my feelings), as belonging to 
my essential being, and, 
hough the source of all suffer- 
ings and sorrows, as a glorious, divine 1)0"wer and perfection. 
"\Yhat would man be without feeling? I t is the musical 
power in man. But what would man be without lllusic? 
Just as man has a musical faculty and feels an inward necessity 
to breathe out his feelings in song; so, by a like necessity, he 
in religious sighs and tears, stremns forth the nature of 
feeling as an objective, divine nature. 
Religion is human nature reflected, nlirrored in itself. That 
which exists has necessarily a pleasure, a joy in itself, loves 
itself, and loves itself justly; to bla111e it because it loves itself 
is to reproach it because it exists. To exist is to assert one- 
self, to affirm oneself, to love oneself; he to WhOlll life is a 
burtben, riels himself of it. 'Vhere, therefore, feeling is not 
depreciated and repressed, as with the Stoics, "where existence 
is awarded to it, there also is religious power and significance 
already conceded to it, there also is it already exalted to that 
stage in which it can nlirror and reflect itself, in which it can 
project its own Ï111age as God. God is the mirror of man. 
That which has essential value for man, which he esteems 
the perfect, the excellent, in which he has true delight,-that 
alone is God to him. If feeling seems to thee a glorious 
atJ,ribute, it is then, pel' se, a divine attribute to thee. There- 
fore, the feeling, sensitive man believes only in a feeling, sensi- 
tive God, i.e., he believes only in the truth of his own existence 
and nature, for he can believe in nothing else than that which 
is involved in his own nature. His faith is the consciousness 
of that which is holy to hÍ1n; but tha.t alone is holy to man 
which lies deepest within him, which is luost peculiarly his 
own, the basis, the essence of his individuality. To the 
feeling man a God without feeling is an eml)ty, abstract, 
negative God, i.e., nothing; because that is wanting to him 
which is precious and sacred to luan. God is for man the 
common-place book where he registers his highest feelings and 
thoughts, the genealogical tree on which are entered the 
names that are dearest and most sacred to hÍln. 



THE :MYSTERY OF THE SUFFERING GOD. 63 


It is a sign of an undiscriminating good-nature, a womanish 
instinct, to gather together and then to preserve ten aciously all 
that we have gathered, not to trust anything to the waves of 
forgetfulness, to the chance of memory, in short not to trust 
ourselves and learn to know what really has value for us. The 
freethinker is liable to the danger of an unregulated, dissolute 
life. The religious man, who binds together all things in one, 
does not lose himself in sensuality; but for that reason he is 
exposed to the danger of illiberality, of spiritual selfishness 
and greed. Therefore, to the religious man at least, the irre- 
ligious or un-religious man appears lawless, arbitrary, haughty, 
frivolous; not because that which is sacred to the former is 
not also in itself sacred to the latter, but only because that 
which the un-religious Ulan holds in his head merely, the reli- 
gious man places out of and above himself as an object, and 
hence l'ecognises in himself the relation of a formal subordi- 
nation. The religious nlan, having a common-place book, 
a nucleus of aggregation, has an aim, and having an aim 
he has firm standing-ground. Not mere will as such, not 
vague knowledge-only activity with a purpose, which is the 
union of theoretic and practical activity, gives man a moral 
basis and support, i.e., character. Every man, therefore, must 
place before hiInself a God, i.e., an aim, a purpose. The aim 
is the conscious, voluntary, essential impulse of life, the glance 
of genius, the focus of self-knowledge, - the unity of the 
material and spiritual in the individual Inan. He who has 
an aim, has a law over him; he does not merely guide himself; 
he is guided. He who has no aim, has no hOlne, no sanctuary; 
ainllessnet;s is the greatest unhappiness. Even he who has 
only common aims, gets on better, though he nlay not be better", 
than he who has no aim. An aim sets limits; but limits are 
the mentors of virtue. He who has an aim, an aim which is 
in itself true and essential, has, eo ipso, a religion, if not in 
the narrow sense of comn10n pietism, yet-and this is the 
only point to be considered-in the sense of reason, in the 
sense of the univert;al, the only true love. 



6-1 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


CHAPTER VI. 


THE MYSTERY OF THE TRINITY AND THE l\IOTHER 
OF GOD. 


IF a God without feeling, without a capability of suffering, will 
not suffice to man as a feeling, suffering hf'ing, neither will a 
God with feeling only, a God without intelligence and will. 
Only a being who comprises in himself tIle whole man can 
satisfy the whole man. 
Ian's consciousness of hÌ1n
elf in his 
totality is the consciousness of the Trinity. The Trinity knits 
together the qualities or powers, which were before regarded 
separately, into unity, and thereby reduces the universal 
being of the understanding, i. e., God as God, to a sl)ecial 
being, a special faculty. 
That which theology designates as the image, the simi- 
litude of the Trinity, we must take as the thing itself, the 
essence, the archetype, the original; by this nleans we shall 
solve the enigma. The so-called images by which it has been 
sought to illustrate the Trinity, and nHlke it comprehensible, 
are, principally: mind, understanding, memory, will, love- 
'ìnens, intellcctlls, ,)Jw1noria, voluntas, amot or caritas. 
God thinks, God loves; and, moreoyer, he thinks, he loves 
}lÌ1nself; the object thought, known, loved, is God. hÌ1nself. 
The objectivity of self-consciousness is the first thing we 
meet with in the Trinity. Self-consciousness necessarily urges 
itself upon man as something absolute. Existence is for him 
one with self-consciousné
s; existence with self-consciousness 
is for him existence sinlply. If I do not know that I exist, 
it is aU one whether I exist or not. Self-consciousness is for 
man-is, in fact, in itself--absolute. A God who knows not 
his own existence, a God without consciousness, is no God. 
l\Ian cannot conceive himself as without consciousness; hence 
he cannot conceive God as without it. The divine self-con- 



THE MYSTERY OF THE TRIXIT . 


65 


sciousness is nothing else than the consciousness of con- 
sciousness as an absolute or divine essence. 
But this explanation is by no means exhaustive. On the 
contrary, we should be proceeding very arbitrarily if we sought 
to reduce and limit the mystery of the Trinity to the proposi- 
tion just laid down. Consciousness, understanding, will, love, 
in the sense of alJ
tract essences or qualities, belong only to 
abstract philosophy. But religion is nlan.s consciousness of 
himself in his concrete or living totality, in which the identity 
of self-consciousness exists only as the pregnant, complete 
unity of I and tholt. 
R
ligion, at least the Christian, is abstraction from the 
world; it is essentially inward. The religious man leads a life 
withdrawn from the world, hidden in God, still, void of worldly 
joy. He separates himself from the world, not only in the 
ordinary sel1se, according to which the renunciation of the 
world belongs to every true, earnest man, but also in tbat 
wider sense which science gives to the word, when it calls 
itself world-,visdoln ('welt-zceisheit); but he thus separates 
himself, only because God is a Being separate from the world, 
an extra and supramundane Being, -'Î. e., abstractly and 
philosophically expl'essed, the non-existence of the world. 
Gocl as an extramundane being, is however nothing else 
than the nature of man, ,vithdrawn from the world and 
concentrated in itself, freed from all worldly ties and entangle- 
ments, transporting itself above the world, and positing itself 
in this condition as a real objective being; or, nothing else 
than the consciousness of the power to abstract oneself from 
all that is external
 and to live for and with oneself alone, 
under the form which this power takes in religion, namely, 
that of a being distinct, apart from man. * God as God, as 
a simple being, is the being absolutely alone, solitary-absolute 


:I: "Dei essentia est extra omnes creaturas, sicut ab æterno fuit Deus in se 
ipso; ab omnibus ergo creaturis amorem tuum abstrahas.."-John Gerhard 
(l\Iedit. sacræ, 1\1. 31). "If thou wouldst have the Creator, thou must do 
without the creature. The le
s of the creature, the more of God. There- 
tòre, abjure all creatures, with all their consolations."-J. Tauler (Postilla. 
Hamburg, 1621. p. 312). "If a man cannot say in his heart with truth: 
God and I are alone in the world-there is nothing else,- he has no peace 
in himself."-G. Arnold (V on Verschmähung del' Welt. 'Vahre Abbild 
der Ersten Chri::;ten, L. 4, c. 2, S 7). 



66 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


solitude and self-sufficingness; for that only can be solitttry 
which is self-sufficing. To be able to be solitary is a sign 
of character and thinking power. Solitude is the want of the 
thinker, society the want of the heart. "\Ve can think alone, 
but we can love only with another. In love we are dependent, 
for it is the need of another being; we are independent only 
in the solitary act of thought. Solitude is self-sufficing- 
ness. 
But from a solitary God the essential need. of duality, of 
love, of community, of the real, completed self-consciousness, 
of the alter ego, is excluded. This want is therefore satisfied 
by religion thus: in the still solitude of the divine being is 
placed another, a second, different from God as to personality, 
but identical with him in essence,-God the SOD, in distinc- 
tion from God the Father. God the Father is I, God the Son 
'1'}zou,. The I is understanding, the Tho'll love. But Love 
with understanding and understanding with love, is mind, and 
mind is the totality of man as such-the total man. 
Participated life is alone true, self-satisfying, divine life :- 
this simple thought, this truth, natural, imnlanent in man, is the 
secret, the supernatural mystery of the Trinity. But religion 
expresses this truth, a
 it does every other, in an indirect Dlan- 
ner, i. e., inversely, for it here makes a general truth into a 
particular one, the true subject into a predicate, .when it says: 
God is a IJarticipated life, a life of love and friendship. The 
third person in the Trinity expresses nothing further than the 
love of the two divine Persons towards each other; it is the 
unity of the Son and the Father, the idea of comlnunity, 
strangely enough regarded in its turn ab' a special personal 
being. 
The Holy Spirit owes its personal existence only to a name, 
R 'YOI'd. The earliest Fathers of the Church are well known to 
have identífied the Spirit with the Son. Even later, its dog- 
matic personality wants consistency. He is the love ,,'ith which 
God loves himself and man, and on the other hand, he is the 
love with whieh Ulan loves God and men. Thus he is the 
identity of God and man, made objective according to the usual 
mode of thought in religion, namely, as in itself a distil1et being. 
But for us this unity or identity is already inyolved in the idea 
of the Father, find yet more in that of the Son. Hence we need 
not Illflke the Holy Spirit a separate object of our analYt;Ïs. 
Only this one remark further. In so far as the Holy Spirit 
represents the subjective phase, he is properly the representa- 



THE 
rYSTERY OF THE TRIKITY. 


67 


tion of the religious sentiment to itself, the representation 
of religious emotion, of religious enthusiasm, or the personifi- 
cation, the rendering objective of religion in religion. The 
Holy Spirit is therefore the sighing creature, the yearning of 
the creature after God. 
But that there are in fact only two Persons in the Trinity, 
the third representing, as has been said, only love, is involved 
in this, that to the strict idea of love two suffice. 'Yith two 
we have the principle of multiplicity and all its essential results. 
Two is the principle of multiplicity, and can therefore stand as 
its complete substitute. If several Persons were posited, the 
force of love would only be weakened-it would be dispersed. 
But love and the heart are identical; the heart i::; no special 
power; it is the man who loves, and in so far as he loves. The 
second Person is therefore the self-assertion of the human heart 
as the principle of duality, of participated life,-it is warmth; 
the Father is light, although light was chiefly a predicate of the 
Son, because in him the Godhead first became clear, compre- 
hensible. But notwithstanding this, light as a super-telTestrial 
ele1nent may be ascribed to the Father,the representative of the 
Godhead as such, the cold being of the intelligence; and 
warmth, as a terrestrial element, to the Son. God as the Son 
first gives wannth to man; here God, from an object of the 
intellectual eye, of the indifferent sense of light, becomes an 
object of feeling, of affection, of enthusiasm, of rapture; but 
only because the Son is himself nothing else than the glow of 
love, enthusiasm. * God as the Son is the pril11Ìtive incarna- 
. tion, the primitive self-renunciation of God, the negation of 
God in God; for as the Son he is a fini te being, because he exists 
ab alia, he has a source, whereas the Father has no source, he 
exists à see Thus in the second Person the es:sential attribute 
of the Godhead, the attribute of self-existence, is given up. 
But God the. Father himself begets the Son; thus he re- 
nounces his rigorous, exclusive divinity; he humiliates, lowers 
hÏ1nself, evolves within himself the principle of finiteness, of 
dependent existence; in the Son he becomes man, not 
indeed, in the first instance, as to the outward form, but as to 
the inward nature. And for this reaso1l. it is as the Son 


* "Exigit ergo Deus timerÏ ut Dominus, honorari ut pater, ut sponsus 
amari. Quid in his præstat, quid eminet ?-Amor." Bernardus (Sup. 
Cant. Berm. 83). 



68 


THE ESSEXCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


that God first becomes the object of man, the object of feeling, 
of the heart. 
The heart comprehends only what springs from the heart. 
From the character of the subjective disposition and impres- 
sions the conclusion is infallible as to the character of the 
object. The pure, free understanding denies the Son,-not so 
the understanding determined by feeling, overshaJowea by the 
heart; on the contrary, it finds in the SOIl the depths of the 
Godhead, because in him it finds feeling, which in and by itself 
is something dark, obscure, and therefore appears to man a 
mystery. The Son lays hold on the heart, because the true 
Father of the divine Son is the human heart, * and the Son 
himself nothing else than the divine heart, i. e., the human 
heart become objective to itself as a divine Being. 
A God, who has not in himself the quality of finiteness, the 
principle of concrete existence, the essence of the feeling of 
dependence, is no God for a finite, concrete being. The reli- 
gious man cannot love a God who has not the essence of love 
in himself, neither can man, or, in general, any finite being be 
an object to a God who has not in himself the ground, the 
.principle of finiteness. To such a God there is wanting the 
'sense, the understanding, the sympathy for finiteness. How 
can God be the Father of men, how can he love other beings 
subordinate to hÏ1nself, if he has not in himself a subordinate 
being, a Son, if he does not know what love is, so to speak, 
from his own experience,-in relation to himself? The single 
man takes far less interest in the family sorrows of another than 
he who hin1self has family ties. Thus God the Father loves 
men only in the Son and for the sake of the Son. The loye to 
man is derived from the love to the Son. 
The Father and Ron in the Trinity are therefore father and 
son not in a figurative sense, but in a strictly literal sense. 
The Eather is a real father in relation to the Son, the Son is 
a real son in relation to the Father, or to God as the Father. 
The essential personal distinction between theln consists only 
in this, that the one begets, the other is begotten. If this na- 
tural empirical condition is taken away, their personal exist 
ence and reality are annihilated. The Christians-we mean 


:)(: .Just as the feminine spirit of Catholicism-in distinction from Pro- 
testantism, whose principle is the masculine God, the masculine spirit- 
ÎÞ the mot1ter of God. 



THE MYSTERY OF THE TRIXITY. 


69 


of course the Christians of former days, who would with diffi- 
culty recognise the worldly, frivolous, pagan Christians of the 
Inodern world as their brethren in Christ-sub
tituted for 
the natural love and unity immanent in nlan, a purely 
religious love and unity; they rejected the real life of 
the family, the intimate honel of love which is naturally moral, 
as an undivine, unheavenly, i. e., in truth, a worthless thing. But 
in compensation t.hey had it Father and Son in God, who em. 
braced each other with heartfelt love, with thati ntense love 
which natural relationship alone inspires. On this account the 
mystery of the Trinity was to the ancient Christians an object of 
unbounded wonder, enthusiasm and rapture, because here the 
satisfaction of those profound est human wants which in reality, 
in life, they denied, became to them an object of contemplation 
in God. * 
It was therefore quite in order, that to complete the divine 
fanÜly, the bond of love between Father and Son, a third, and 
that a feminine person, was received into heaven; for the 
personalit.y of the Holy Spirit is a too vague and precarious- 
a too obviously poetic personification of the mutual love of 
the Father and Son, to serve as the third complementary being.., 
It is true that the 'Tirgin l\Iary was not so placed between the 
Father and Son as to imply that the Father had begotten the 
Son through her, because the sexual relation was regarded by 
the Christians as something unholy and sinful; but it is 
enough that the maternal principle was associated with the 
Father and Son. 
It is in fact difficult to perceive why the 1\lother should be 
something unholy, i. e., unworthy of God, when once God is 
Father and Son. Though it is held that the Father is not a 
Father in the natural sense-that, on the contrary, the Divine 
generation is quite different from the natural and human-still 
he remains a Father, and a real, not a nominal or symbolical 
Father, in relation to the SOl1. And the idea of the 1\lother of 
God, which now appears so strange to us, is therefore not 
really lnore strange or paradoxical, than the idea of the Son of 
God, is not more in contradiction with the general, abstract 
definition of God than the Sonship. On the contrary, the 


* "Dum Patris et Filii proprietates eommunionemque deleetabilem intueor, 
nihil deleetabilius in illis invenio, quam mutuum amm.is affeetum."-An.. 
selmus (in Ri.xller's Geseh. d. Phil. II. B. Anh. p. 18). 



70 


THE ESSE
CE OF CHRISTIA
ITY. 


Virgin l\Iary fits in perfectly with the relations of the Trinity, 
since she conceives without man the Son WhOlU the Father 
begets without woman;* so that thus the Holy Virgin is a 
necessary, inherently requisite antithesis to the Father in the 
bosom of the Trinity. :1\loreo\'"e1' we have, if not in concreto 
and explicitly, yet in abstracto anù implicitly, the feminine 
principle already in the Son. The Son is the mild, gentle, 
forgiving, conciliating being-the won1anly sentinlent of God. 
God, as the Father, is the generator, the active, the principle 
of masculine spontaneity; but the Son is begotten, without 
himself begetting, Dells genitlls, the passive, suffering, receptive 
being; he receives his existence fronl the :F'ather. The Son, 
as a Son, of course not as God, is dependent on the Father, 
subject to his authority. The Son is thus the feminine feeling 
of dependence in the Godhead; the Son implicitly urges upon 
us the need of a real feminine being. t 
The son- I mean the natural, human son-considered as 
such, is an intermediate being between the masculine nature of 
the father and the feminine nature of the mother; he is, as it 
were, still half a man, half a wonlan, inaslnuch as he has not the 
full, rigorous consciousness of independence which characterizes 
the Iuan, and feels himself drawn rather to the mother than to 
the father. The love of the son to the mother is the first 
love of the masculine being for the feminine. The love of 
man to woman, the love of the youth for the maiden, receives 
its religious-its sole truly relig}ous consecration in the love 
of the son to the mother; the son's love for his mother is 
the first yearning of man towards woman-his first humbling 
of himself before her. 
Necessarily, therefore, the idea of the J\Iother of God is 
associated ,
ith the idea of the Son of God,-the same 
heart that needed the one needed the other also. "\Vhere 
the Son is, the 
Iother cannot be absent; the Son is 


* "N atus est de Patre semper et matre semel; de Patre sine sexu, de matre 
sine usu. Apud patrem quippe defuit concipientis uterus; apud matrem 
defuit seminantis amplexus."-Augustinus (Serm. ad. Pop. p. 372, c. 1, Ed. 
Bened. Antw. 1701). 
t In Jewish mysticism, God, according to one school, is a masculine, 
the Holy Spirit a feminine principle, out of whose intermixture arose the 
Son, and with him the world. Gfrörer, Jahrb., d. H. i. Abth. p. 332-34. 
The Herrnhuters also called the Holy Spirit the mother of the Saviour. 



THE MYSTERY OF THE TRIKITY. 


71 


the only begotten of the Father, but the 
Iother i'3 the con- 
con1Îtant of the SOIl. The Son is a substitute for the :\Iother 
to the Father, but not so the Father to the Son. To the Son 
the }Iother is inilispensable; the heart of the Son is the heart 
of the }Iother. "\Vhy did God beC0111e man only through 
woman? Could not the ..Almighty have appeared as a man 
amongst men in another manner-in1mediately? 'Yhy did 
the Son betake himself to the bosom of the 
Iother?* For 
what other reH
on, than because the Son is the yearning after 
the 
lother, because his ,yomanly, tender heart, found a 
eorresponding expression only in a feminine body? It is true 
that the Son, as a natural man, dwells only teInporarily in the 
shrine of this body, but the impressions which he here receives 
are inextinguishable; the 
r other i
 never out of the mind and 
heart of the son. If then the worship of the Son of God is 
no idolatry, the worship of the l\Iother of God is no idolatry. 
If herein we perceive the love of God to us, that he gave us his 
only begotten Son, i.e., that which was clearest to him, for our 
salvation,-we can perceive this love still better when we find 
in God the beating of a mother.s heart. The l1ighest and 
deepest love is the nlother's love. The father consoles himself 
for the loss of his son; he has a stoical principle within him. 
The mother, on the contrary, is inconsolable; she is the 
sorrowing element, that which cannot be indemnified-the true 
in love. 
'Vhere faith in the 1\Iother of God sinks, there also sinks 
faith in the Son of God, and in God as the Father. The 
Father is a truth only where the l\Iother is a truth. Love is in 
and by itself essenti
lly feminine in its natul'e. The belief in 
the love of God is the belief in the feminine principle as 
divine. * Love apart froln living nature is an anomaly, a 
phantom. Behold in love the holy necessity and depth of 
K ature ! 
Protestantism has set aside the Mother of God; but this 
deposition of woman has been severely avenged.t The arms. 


* " For it could not have been difficult or impossible to God to bring his 
Son into the world without a mother; but it was His will to use the 
woman for that end."-Luther (T. ii. p. 348). 
t In the Concordienbu('h, Erklär. Art. 8, and in the Apol. of the Augsburg 
Confession, :\Iary is nevertheless still called the "Blessed Virgin, who 



72 


THE ESSEYCE OF CHRISTIAKITY. 


which it has used against the 1\lother of God have turned 
against itself, against the Son of God, against the whole 
Trinity. He who has once offered up the 1\lother of God to 
the understanding, is not far from sacrificing the mystery of 
the Son of God as an anthropomorphism. The alltlll'OpOmor- 
phism is certainly veiled when the feminine being is excluded, 
but only veiled-not removed. It is true that Protestantisnl 
had no need of the heavenly bride, because it received with 
open arms the earthly bride. But for that very reason it 
ought to have been consequent and courageous enough to give 
up not only the 1\lother, but the Son and the Father. Only 
he who has no earthly parents needs heavenly ones. The 
triune God is the God of Catholicism; he has a profound, 
heartfelt, necessary, truly religious significance, only in anti- 
thesis to the negation of all substantial bonds, in antithesis to 
the life of the anchorite, the monk, and the nun.* The triune 
God has a substantial meaning only where there is an abstrac- 
tion from the substance of real life. The more empty life is, 
the fuller, the more concrete is God. The impoverishing of 
the real world, and the enriching of God, is one act. Only the 
poor man has a rich God God springs out of the feeling of a 
want; what nlan is in need of, whether this be a definite and 
therefore conscious, or an unconscious need,-that is God. 
Thus the disconsolate feeling of a yoid, of loneliness, needed 
a God in whom there is society, a union of beings fervently 
loving each other. 
Here we have the true explanation of the fact, that the 
Trinity has in modern times lost first its practical, and ulti- 
mately its theoretical significance. 


was tru
! the mother of God, and yet remained a virgin," -" worthy of all 
honour. 
:)I: "Sit monachus quasi Melchisedec sine lJatre, sine matre, sine genealogia: 
neque patrem sibi vocet super terram. lmo sic existimet, quasi ipse sit 
solus et Deus. (Speclù. l\Ionach. P
eudo-Bernard.) l\Ielchisedec...... 
refertur ad exemplum, ut tanquam sine patre et sine matre sacerdos esse 
debeat." -Ambrosius. 



THE 
IYSTERY OF THE LOGOS. 


73 


CH
J\PTEB \TII. 


TIlE l\IYSTFRY OF THE LOGOS A....
D DIVINE I:\IAGE. 


THE essential significance of the Trinity is, however, concen- 
trated in the idea of the second Person. The \VarIn interest 
of Christians in the Trinity llf\s been, in the ll1ain, only an 
interest in the Son of God,. The fierce contention concerning 
the Homollsios and H01J
oiollsios was not an en1pty one, 
although it turned 'upon a letter. The point in question was 
the co-equality and divine dignity of the second Person, and 
therefore the honour of the Christian religion itself; for its 
essential, characteristic ohject is the second Person; and that 
which is essentially the object of a religion is truly, essentially 
its God. The real God of any religion is the so-called 
Iedi- 
ator, because he alone is the Ünmediate object of religion. He 
who, instead of applying to God, applies to a sai:p.t, does so only 
on the assumption that the saint has all power with God, 
that what he prays for, i.e., wishes and wills, God readily per- 
forms; that thus God is entirely in the hands of the. saint. 
Supplication is the means, under the guise of humility and 
sublnission, of exercising one's power and superiority over 
another being. That to which my mind first turns, is also in 
truth the first being to me. I turn to the ::mint, not Lecause 
the saint is dependent on God, but because God is dependent 
on the saint, because God is determined and ruled by the 
prayers, i, e., by the wish or heart of the saint. The distinc- 
tions which the Catholic theologians made between latreia, 
cloulia, and hyperdoulia, are absurd, groundless sophisms. 
The God in the background of the 
Iediator is only an 
abstract, inert conception, the conception or idea of the God- 
head in general; and it is not to reconcile us with this idea, 


* " Negas ergo Deum, si non omnia filio, quæ Dei sunt, deferentur."-Am- 
brosius de Fide ad Gratianum, 1. iii. c. 7. On the Rame ground the Latin 
Church adhered so tenaciously to the dogma that the Holy Spirit proceeùed 
not from the Father alone, as the Greek Church maintained, but ii'om the 
Son also. See on this subject J. G. 'Yalchii, Hist. Contr. Gr. et Lat, de 
Proc. Spiro S. J enæ, 1751. 


E 



74 


THE ESSE.KCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


bu t to ren10ve it to a distance, to negative it, because it is no 
object for religion, that the 
Iediator illterposes.* God above 
the 
Iecliator is nothing else than the cold understanding above 
the heart, like Fate alJove the Olympic gods. 

Ian, as an emotional and sensuous being, is governed and 
made happy only by images, by sensible representations. l\Iind 
presenting itself as at once type-creating, emotional, and sen- 
suous, is the in1agination. The second Person in God, who 
is in truth the first person in religion, is the nature of the 
imagination made objective. The definitions of the second 
Person are principally Ï1nages or syn1bols; and these images 
do not proceed from man's incapability of conceiving the 
object otherwise than symbolically,-which is an altogether 
false interpretation,-but the thing cannot be conceived other- 
"wise than symbolically because the thing itself is a s}'n1bol or 
image. The Son is therefore expressly called the Image of 
God; his ess
nce is that he is an iInage-the representation of 
God, the visible glory of the invisible God. The Son is the 
satisfaction of the need for mental images, the nature of the 
imaginative activity in man made objective as an absolute, 
divine activity. 1\lan makes to himself an image of God, i.. e., 
he converts the abstract Being of the reason, the Being of the 
thinking power, into fin object of sense. or imfigination.t But 
he places this image in God himself, because his want would 
not be satisfied if he diel not regard this in1age as an objective 
reality, if it were nothing more for him than a subjective 
image, sel)arate from God,-a n1ere figlnent devised by 111a11. 
And it is in fact no devised, no arbitrary in1åge; for it 
expresses the necessity of the imagination, the necessity of 
affirming the imagination as a divine power. The Son is the 
reflected splendour of the imagination, the Ï1nage dearest to 
the heart; but for the very reason that he is only an object 


* This is expressed very significantly in the Incarnation. God renounces, 
denies his majesty, power, and infinity, in order to become a man; 'i.e., 
n1an denies the God who is not himself a man, and only affirms the God 
who affirms man. Exirzanivit, says St. Bernard, majetdate et potentia, 
non b(mitafe et mz"sericoJ'dia. That which cannot be renounced, cannot be 
denied, is thus the Divine goodne::,:s anù mercy, i.e., the :seU:'affirrnation of 
the human heart, 
t It is obvious t.hat the Image of God has also another signification, 
namely, that the personal, visible man is God himself. But here the image 
is consiclered siulply as an Ï1nage. 



THE :MYSTERY OF THE LOGOS. 


75 


of the imagination, he is only the nature of the imagination 
made 0 bj ective. * 
It is clear from this, how blinded by prejudice dogmatic 
speculation is, when, entirely overlooking the inward genesis 
of the Son of God as the lInage of God, it demonstrates the 
Son as a metaphysical ens, as an object of thought, whereas 
the Son is a deelension, a falling off from the metaphysical 
idea of the Godhead ;-a falling off, however, which religion 
naturally places in God hÍ111self, in order to justify it, and 
not to feel it as a falling off. The Son is the chief and ultimate 
principle of Ï1nage worship, for he is the image of God; and 
the image necessarily takes the place of the thing. The adora- 
tion of the saint in his image, is the adoration of the image as 
the saint. \Vherever the image is the essential expression, 
the organ of religion, there also it is the essence of religion. 
The Council of Nice adduced amongst other grounds for the 
religious use of images, the authority of Gregory of Nyssa, 
who said that he could never look at an image which repre- 
sented the sacrifice of Isaac without being moved to tears, 
because it so vividly brought before him that event in sacred 
history. But the effect of the represented object is not the 
effect of the object as such, but the effect of the representation. 
The holy object is simply the haze of holiness in which the 
image veils its mysterious power. The religious object is only 
a pretext, by means of which art or imagination can exercise 
its dominion over men unhindered. For the religious con- 
sciousness, it is true, the sacredness of the image is associated, 
and necessarily so, only with the sacredness of the object; but 
the religious consciousness is not the measure of truth. In- 
deed, the Church itself, while insisting on the distinction 
between the image and the object of the image, and denying 
that the worship is paid to the ÏInage, has at the same time 
made at least an indirect admission of the truth, by itself 
declaring the sacredness of the image. t 
But the ultinlate, highest principle of image-worship is the 


* Let the reader only consider, for example, the Transfiguration, the 
Resurrection, and the Ascension of Christ. 
t "Sacram imaginem Domini nostri Jesu Christi et omnium Salvatoris 
requo honore cum libro sallctorum evangeliorum adorari de{'ernimus. . . . 
Dignulll est enim ut . . . . propter hOl1orem qui ad l]rincipia refertur, 
etiam derivative imagines honorentur et adorentur."-Gener. Const Conc. 
vÜÏ. Art. 10. Can. 3. 


E2 



76 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


worship of the Image of God in God. The Son, who is the 
H brightness of His glory, the express image of I-lis person," 
is the entrancing splendour of the imagination, which only 
mm1Ïfests itself in visible images. Both to inward and out- 
ward cOlltenlplation the representation of Christ, the Image 
of God, was the image of images. The iInages of the saints 
are only optical nnlltiplications of one and the SaIne image. 
The sl)eculative deduction of the Inlage of God is therefore 
nothing Inore than an unconsciou
 deduction and establishiIig 
of image-worship: for the sanction of the principle is also the 
sanction of its necessary consequences; the sanction of the 
archetype is the sanction of its senlblance. If God has an 
image of himself, why should not I have an image of God? 
If God loves his Tinage as hÏ1nself, why should not I also love 
the Image of God as I love God himself? If the Image of 
God is God hÏ1nself, why should not the image of the saint 
be the saint himself? If it is no superstition to believe that 
the inlage whieh God nlakes of hÏ1nself, is no inlage, no mere 
conception, but a substance, a persoll,-why should it be a 
superstition to believe that the ÎInage of the saint is the sensi- 
tive substance of the saint? The Image of God weeps and 
bleeds; why then should not the inHlge of a saint also 'weep 
and bleed? Does the distinction lie in the fact that the Î111age 
of the saint is a produGt of the hands? 'Vhy, the hands 
did not nlake this Ï1nage, hut the mind which animated the 
hands, the imagination; and if God makes an image of hÏ111self, 
that also is only a product of the Ï1nagination. Or does the 
distinction proceeù from this, that the Image of God is produced 
by God himself, whereas the image of thE-' saint is lllade by 
another? 'Yhy, the image of the saint is also a product of 
the saint himself: for he appears to the artist; the artist only 
represents him as he appears. 
Connected with the nature of the inHlge is another definition 
of the Second Person, nanlely, that he is the 'Y ord of God. 
A 'Y ord is an abstract image, the imaginary tl1Ïng, or, in so 
far as everything is ultÏInately an object of the thinking power, 
it is the Ünagined thought: lIenee, men when they know tIle 
word, the l1anle for a thing, fancy that they know the thing 
ulso. ,y onls are a result of the inlagillfition. Sleel)ers who 
dream vividly, and invalicl
 who are ddirious, sl)eak. The 
power of speech is t1 poetic talent. TIrutes do not speak 
'because they have no l)oetic faculty. Thought expresses itself 
only by images; the power by which thought expresses itself 



THE :MYSTERY OF THE LOGOS. 


77 


is the inutgination; the Ï1nagination expressing itself is speech. 
He who speaks, lays under n spell, fascinates those to whom 
he speaks; but the power of words is the power of the Ïlnagi- 
nation. Therefore to the ancients, as children of the imagina- 
tion, the",Y ord was a being-a nlysterious, magically powerful 
being. Even the Christians, find not only the vulgar among 
then1, but also the learned, the :Fathers of the Church, attached 
to the mere name Christ, mysteriouf:o\ powers of healing. * ....\.nd 
in the present day the callInon people still believe that it is 
possible to ùe\';itd1 n1en by mere words. ",Vhenee COlnes this 
ascription of imaginary influences to words? SiInply from 
this, that words themselves are only a result of the imagination, 
find hence have the effect of a narcotic on man, imprison him 
under the power of the imagination. 'Y ords possess a revolution- 
izing force; wore!::; govern nlallkind. 'Y orùs are held sacred; 
while the things of reason and truth are decried. 
The affirming or making oùjective of the nature of the 
i1nagination is therefore directly connected with the affirming or 
making oùjective of the nature of speech, of the ,,y o reI. :ßIan 
has not only an instinct, 
n internal necessity, which impels 
him to think, to perceive, to Ï1nagille; he has also the ÏInpulse 
to speak, to utter, Ï1npart his thoughts. A divine impulse this 
-a divine power, the power of words. The word is the inlagecl, 
revealed, radiating, lustrous, enlightening thought. The 'YOI'd 
is the light of the world. The word guides to all truth, un- 
folds all mysteries, reveals the unseen, makes present the past 
and the future, defines the infinite, perpetuates the transient. 
:ßIrn pass away, the word remains; the word is life and truth. 
All power is given to the word: the word make
 the blind 
see and the lame walk, heals the sick, and brings the dead to 
life ;-the word works miracles, and the only rational miracles. 
The word is the gospel, the paraclete of mankind. To con- 
vince thyself of the divine nature of speech, imagine thyself 
alone and forsaken, yet aC(luainted with language; and in1ngine 
thyself further hearing for the first time the word of a human 
being: wouhlnot this word seen1 to thee angelic, would it not 
sound like the voice of Goel himself, like heavenly Inusic? 
'V ords are not really less rieh, less pregnant than lllusic, though 
nlusic seelns to say more, Dnd appears deeper and richer than 
words, for this reason simply, that it is invested with that 
prepossession, that illusion. 
* " Tanta certe vis nomini J esu inest contra dæmones, ut nonnunquam etÍam 
a malis nominatum sit cfficax."-Origenes adv. Celsum, 1. i.; see also 1. ili. 



78 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


The 'YoI'd has power to redeem, to reconcile, to bless, to 
make free. The sins 'which we confess are forgiven us by 
virtue of the divine power of the word. The dying man who 
gives forth in speech his long-concealed sins, departs recon- 
ciled. The forgiveness of sins lies in the confession of sins. 
The sorrows which we confide to our friend are already half 
healed. 'Yhenever we speak of a subject, the passions which 
it has excited in us are allayed; we see more clearly; the 
object of anger, of vexation, of sorrow, appears to us in a 
light in which we perceive the unworthiness of those passions. 
If we are in darkness and doubt on any nlatter, 'we need only 
speak of it ;-often in the very moment in which we open our 
lips to consult a friend, the doubts and difficulties disappear. 
The word makes man free. He who cannot express hÏ111self is 
a slave. Hence, excessive passion, excessive joy, excessive 
grief, are speechless. To speak is an act of freedom; the word 
is freedom. Justly therefore is language held to he the root 
of culture; where language is cultivated, man is cultivated. 
The barbarisnl of the l11iddle ages disappeared before the re- 
vival of language. 
As we can conceive nothing else as a Divine Being than the 
R.ational which we think, the Good which we love, the Beau- 
tiful which we perceive; so we know 110 higher spiritually 
operative power and expression of power, than the power of the 
'V 01'<1.* God is the stun of all reality. All that nlan feels or 
knows as a reality, he nlllst place in God or regard as God. 
Religion must therefore be con
cious of the power Qf the 
word as a divine power. The"\V ord of God is the divinity of 
the word, as it becolnes an object to man within the sphere of 
religion,-the true nature of the lnunan word. The ,V ord of 
God is supposed to be distinguished from the hunlan word in 
that it is no transient breath, but an imparted being. But 
does not the ,"yord of nlan also contain the being of man, his 
imparted self,-at least when it is a true word? Thus religion 
takes the appearance of the hunlan word for its essence; hence 
it necessarily conceives the true nature of the \V ord to be a 
special being, distinct from the human word. 


* H God reveals himself to us, as thE' Speaker, who has, in himself, an 
eternal uncreated ,V ord, whereby he created the world and all thing!', with 
slight labour, namely with 
pceèh, so that to God it is not more difficult 
to create than it is to us to name."-Luthcr, t. i. p. 302. 



THE :MYSTERY OF THE COSl\IOGONICAL PRINCIPLE. 79 


OR.APTER VIII. 


THE l\IY8TERY OF THE COS::\IOGONICAL PRINCIPLE 
IN GOD. 


THE second Person, as God revealing, manifesting, declaring 
hiInself (Dcus se dicit), is the world-creating principle in God. 
But this lneans nothing else than that the second Person is inter- 
nlediate between the noumenalnature of G od and the phenomenal 
nature of the worlù, that he is the divine principle of the finite, 
of that which is distinguished fron1 God. The second .Person 
as begotten, as not à se, not existing of himself, has the funda- 
mental condition of the finite in himself.* But at the same 
time, he is not -yet a real finite Being, posited out of God; on 
the contrary, he is still identical with God,-as identical as 
the son is 
rith the father, the son being indeed another person, 
but still of like nature with the father. The second Person, 
therefore, does not represent to us the pure idea of the God- 
head, but neither does he repn
sent the pure idea of hunlanity, 
or of reality in general: he i
 an intermediate Being between 
the two opposites. The opposition of the nouJnenal or invi. 
sible divine nature and the phenomenal or visible nature of the 
world, is however nothing else than the opposition between 
the nature of abstraction and the nature of perception; but 
that which connects abstraction with perception is the ÏInagi- 
nation: consequently, the transition fronl God to the world by 
means of the second Person, is only the fonn in which religion 
makes objective the transition from abstraction to perception 
by JlleanS of the imagination. I t is the imagination alone by 
which luan neutralizes the opposition between God and 
the world. All religious coslllogonies are products of the 
imagination. Every being, intermediate between God and the 
world, let it be defined how it nIfty, is a being of the Í1llagina- 


* "Hylarius. . 
 . . 8i quis innascibilem et sine initio dicat filium, quasi 
duo sine principio et duo innascibilia, et duo innata dicens, duos faciat 
Deos, anathema sit, Caput autem quod est principium Christi, Deus. 
Filium iunascibileUl confiteri impiissirnulll est." -Petrus LOll1b. Sent. 1. i. 
dist. 31. c. 4. 



80 


THE ESSE:8CE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


tiol1. The psychological truth and necessity which lies at the 
foundation of all these theogol1ies and cosmogonies, is the 
truth and neces::5ity of the imagination as a n1Íddle tenn between 
the abstract and concrete. And the task of philosophy, in 
investigating this subject, is to conlprehend the relation of the 
imagination to the reason,-the genesis of the Ï1nag;e by nleans 
of which an object of thought becomes an object of sense, of 
feeling. 
But the nature of the imagination is the complete, exhaus- 
tive truth of the cosmogonic principle, only where the antithesis 
of God and the world expresses nothing but the indefinite an- 
tithesis of the nounlcnal, invisible, incomprehensible Being, 
God, and the visible, tangible existence of the world. If, on 
the other hand, the cosnlogonic being is conceived and ex- 
pressed abstractly, as is the case in religious speculation, we 
have also to recognise a more abstract psychological truth as 
its foundation. 
The world is 110t God; it is other than God, the opposite 
of God, or at least that which is different from God. But 
that which is different from God, cannot have come immedi- 
ately from God, but only from a distinction of God in God. 
The second Person is God distinguishing hinlself fronl himself 
in himself, setting himself opposite to himself, hence being an 
object to himself. The self-distinguishing of God from himself 
is the ground of that which is different from hÜnself, and thus 
self-col1::5ciousness is the origin of the world. God first thinks 
the world in thinking himself: to think oneself is to beget 
oneself, to think the world is to create the worlel. Begetting 
!)fecedes creating. The idea of the production of the world, of 
another being who is not God, is attained through the idea of 
the production of another being who is like God. 
This cosmogonical process is nothing else than the nlystic 
paraphrase of a psychological process, nothing else than the 
unity of consciousness and self-consciousness, made objec- 
tive. God thinks hÜnself:-thus he is self-conscious. God is 
self-consciousness posited as an object, as a being; but 
inasmuch as he knows hiInself, thinks hinlself, he al::5o thinks 
another than himself; for to know oneself is to distinguish 
oneself fronl another, whether this be a possible, nlerely con- 
ceptional, or a real being. Thus the worlù-at least the })ossi- 
bility, the idea of the worlll-is posited with consciousne;:,s, or 
rather conveyed in it. The Son, Le., God thought Ly himself, 



THE )IYSTERY OF THE COS}IOGOXICAL PRIXCIPLE. 8] 


objective to hiInself, the original reflection of God, the other 
God, is the principle of Creation. The truth which lies at the 
foundation of this is the nature of luan: the identity of his 
self-consciousness with his consciousness of another who is 
identical with himself, and of another who is not identical with 
hÎ1nself. And the second, the other who is of like nature, is 
necessarily the 111Ïdclle ternl between the first and third. The 
idea of another in general, of one who is essentially different 
fl.oln l11e arises to me first through the idea of one who is 
essentially like me. 
Consciousness of the world is the consciousness of my limi- 
tation; if I knew nothing of a world, I should know nothing 
of liInits: but the consciousness of my lin1Ïtatioll stands in 
contradiction with the impulse of my egoism towards unli- 
n1Îtedness. Thus froln egoisnl conceived as absolute (God is 
the absolute Self) I cannot pass inlmeùiately to its opposite; 
I must introduce, prelulle, moderate this contradiction by the 
consciousness of a being who is indeed another, and in so far 
gives me the perception of my lin1Îtation, but in such a way as 
at the same time to affinn my own nature, make my na.ture 
oQjective to me. The consciousness of the world is a humili- 
ating consciousness; the Creation was an "act of humility;" 
but the first btone against which the pride of egoism stumbles, 
is the thon, the alter ego. The ego tÌl'st steels its glance in 
the eye of a thou, before it endures the con templation of a 
being which cloes not reflect its own image. J\Iy fellow-man 
is the bond between me and the world. I am, and I feel myself, 
dependent on the world, because I first feel myself dependent 
on other men. If I did not need man, I should not need the 
world. I reconcile myself with the world only through my 
fellow-man. 'Vithout other men, the worlel would be for me 
not only dead and elnpty, but nleaningless. Only through his 
fellow does man become clear to himself and self-cunscious; 
but only when I am clear to myself, does the world become 
clear to me. A man existing absolutely alone, would lose 
hÍJnself without any sense of his indiviùuality in the ocean L)f 
:K ature; he would neither comprehend himself as man, nor 
Nature as Nature. The first object of man is man. The sense 
of N atnre, which opens to us the consciousness of the world as 
a world, is a later proùuct; for it first arises through the dis- 
tinction of man from himself. The natural philosophers of 
Greece were preceùed by the so-called seven Sages, whose 
wisdom had immediate reference to hUlnan life only. 
E 3 



82 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


I 
, 


The ego, then, attains to consciousness of the world 
through consciousness of the thou. Thus man is the God 
of nlan. That he is, he has to thank Nature; that he is 
lnan, he has to thank man; spiritually as well as physically, 
he can achieve nothing without his fellow-Inane J'our hands 
can do more than two; but also, four eyes can see more than 
two. And this combined power is distinguished not only in 
quantity but also in quality from that which is solitary. In 
isolation hunlan power is limited, in cOl1lbination it is infinite. 
The knowledge of a single man is limited, but reason, science, 
is unlimited, for it is a common act of mankind; and it is so, 
not only because innumerable men co-operate in the con- 
struction of science, but abo in the more profound sense, that 
the scientific genius of a particular age cOInprehends in itself 
the thinking powers of the preceding age, though it modifies 
thenl in accordance with its own special character. 'Vit, 
acumen, imagination, feeling as distinguished from sensation, 
reason fiS a subjective faculty,-all these so-called I)owers of 
the soul, are powers of humanity, not of man as an inclividual; 
they are products of culture, products of hUlllan society. 
Only where man has contact and friction with his fellow-man are 
wit and sagacity kindled; hence there is more wit in the town 
than in the country, more in great towns than in small ones. 
Only where man suns and warnlS himself in the proximity of 
man, arise feeling and imagination. Love, which requires 
mutuality, is the spring of l)oetry; and only where man conl- 
municates with man, only in speech, a social act, awakes 
reason. To ask a question and to answer, are the first acts 
of thought. Thought originally demands two. It is not 
until man has reached an aùvanced stage of culture that he 
can double himself, so as to play the part of another within 
himself. To think and to speak are therefore with all ancient 
and sensuous nations, identical; they think only in speaking; 
their thought is only conversation. The comIllon people, i.e., 
people in whom the power of abstraction has not been 
developed, are still incapable of understanding what i
 written 
if they do not read it audibly, if they do not pronounce what 
they read. In this point of view Hohbes correctly enough 
derives the understanding of nlan from his ears! 
Reduced to abstract logical categories, the creative principle 
in God expresses nothing further than the tautological pro- 
position: the different can only proceed from a principle of 



'tHE MYSTERY OF THE COS:UOGONICAL PRI
CIPLE. 83 


difference, not froln a sin1ple being. However the Christian 
philosopher
 and theologians insisted on the creation of the 
world out of nothing, they were unable altogether to evade 
the old axiom-" nothing comes from nothing," because it ex- 
presses a law of thought. It is true that they supposed no 
real matter as the principle of the diversity of material things, 
but they maae the Divine understanding (and the Son iö the 
wisclon1, the bcience, the understanding of the }'ather)-as that 
which comprehends within itself all things, as spiritual lnatter 
-the principle of real matter. The distinction hetween the 
heathen eternity of matter and the Christian creation in tIlls 
respect, is only 
that the heathens ascribed to the wOl:ld a real, 
objective eten1Ïty, whereas the Christians gaye it an invisible, 
imlnaterial eternity. Things were, before they existed posi- 
tively,-not, indeed, as an object of sense, but of the subjective 
understanding. The Christians, whose principle is that of 
absolute subjectivity, cOllceive all things as effected only 
through this principle. The nlatter posited by their subjective 
thought, conceptional, subjective matter, is therefore to them 
the first matter,-far more excellent than real, objective 
matter. Nevertheless, this distinction is only a distinction in 
the mode of existence. The world is eternal in God. Or did it 
spring up in hin1 as a sudden idea, a caprice? Certainly man 
can conceive this too; but, in doing so, he deifies nothing but 
his own irrationality. If, on the contrary, I abide by reason, 
I can only derive the world from its essence, its idea, i.e., one 
Inode of its existence from another mode; in other worùs, I 
can derive the world only from itself. The world has its 
basis in itself, as has everything in the world which has a 
claim to the name of species. The differentia specifìc([" the 
peculiar character, that by which a given being is what it is, 
is always in the ordinary sense inexplicable, undeducible, is 
through itself, has its cause in itself. 
The distinction between the world and God as the creator 
of the world, is therefore only a formal one. The nature of 
God-for the divine understanding, that which comprehends 
within itself all things, is the divine nature itself; hence God, 
inasmuch as he thinks and knows himself, thinks and knows 
at the same time the world and all things-the nature of God 
is nothing else than the al)stract, thought nature of the world; 
the nature of the world nothing elöe than the real, concrete, 
perceptible nature of God. Hence, creation is nothing more 



84 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


than a fornlfll act; for that which, before the creation, was 
an object of thought, of the understanding, is by creation 
sÏ1ll1ìly made an object of sense, its ideal contents continuing 
the same; although it remains absolutely inexplicable how a 
realinaterial thing can spring out of a pure thought. * 
So it is with l)lurality and difference-if we reduce the 
world to these abstract categories-in opposition to the 
unity and identity of the Divine nature. Real difference 
can be derived only from a being which has a principle of 
difference in itself. But I posit difference in the original 
being, because I have originally found difference as a positive 
reality. 
Therever difference is in itself nothing, there also 
no difference is conceived in the principle of things. I posit 
difference as an essential category, as a truth, where I derive it 
from the original being, and 'i.ice versâ: the two propositions 
are identical. The rational expression is this: Difference lies 
as necessarily in the reason as identity. 
But as difference is a positive condition of the reason, I 
cannot deduce it without presupposing it; I cannot explain 
it except by itself, because it is an original, self-luminous, self- 
attesting reality. Through what means arises the world, that 
which is distinguished from God? through the distinguishing 
of God from himself in hÏIllself. God thinks himself, he is an 
object to himself; he distinguishes hÏInself from himself. 
Hence this distinction, the world, arises only from a distinction 
of another kind, the external distinction from an internal one, 
the static distinction from a dynamic one,-from an act of dis- 
tinction: thus I establish difference only through itself; i. e., 
it is an original concept, a ne plllS 'lLltl.a of my thought, a 
law, a necessity, a truth. The last distinction that I can think, 
is the distinction of a being from and in itself. The dis- 
tinction of one being froin another is self-evident, is already 
implied in their existence, is a palpable truth: they are two. 
But I first establish difference for thought when I discern it 
in one and the same being, when I unite it with the law of 
identity. Herein lies the ultimate truth of difference. The 
cosmogonic principle in God, reduced to its last eleinents, is 
nothing else than the act of thought in its simplest forms, 
made objective. If I remove difierence from God, he gives me 


:He It is therefore mere self-delusion to suppose that the hypothesis of a 
Creation explains the exi
tence of the world. 



THE l\lYSTERY OF THE COSltIOGONICAL PRINCIPLE. 85 


no material for thought; he ceases to be an object of thought; 
for difference is an essential principle of thought. And if I 
consequently place difference in God, what else do I establish, 
what else do I make an object, than the truth anel necessity of 
this principle of thought? 



86 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


CHAPTER IX. 


THE 
IYSTERY OF l\IYSTICISl\I OR OF NATURE IN GOD. 


IXTERESTI
G material for the criticisnl of cosmogonic and theo- 
gonic fancies is furnished in the doctrine-revived by Schelling 
nnd drawn from Jacob Bähme-of eternal Nature in God. 
God is IH1re spirit, clear self-consciousness, moral person- 
ality; Nature, on the contrary, is, at least partially, confused, 
dark, desolate, immoral, or to say no more, unmoral. But it 
is self-contradictory that the impu
re should proceed from the 
pure, darkness from light. How then can we remove these 
o hvious difficulties in the way of assigning a divine origin to 
Nature? Only by positing this impurity, this darkness in 
God, by distinguishing in God himself a principle of light and 
n. principle of darkness. In other words, we can only explain 
the origin of darkness by renouncing the idea of origin, and 
presupposing darkness as existing frolll the beginning.* 
But that which is dark in N atnre is the irrational, the 
material,-N ature strictly, as distinguished from intelligence. 
Hence the simple meaning of this doctrine is, that Nature, 
1\latter, cannot be explained as a result of intelligence; on the 
contrary, it is the basis of intelligence, the basis of personality, 
without itself having any basis; spirit without Nature is an 
unreal abstraction; consciousness developes itself only out of 
Nature. But this materialistic doctrine is veiled in a mystical 
Jet attractive obscurity, inasmuch as it is not expressed in the 
clear, sinlple language of reason, but elllpbatically enunciated 
in that consecrated word of the emotions-God. If the light 
in God springs out of the darkness in God, this is only because 
it is involved in the idea of light in general, that it illuminates 


* It is beside our purpm
e to criticise this crass mystical theory. We 
merely remark here, that darkness can be eXplained only when it is derived 
from light; that the derivation of the darkness in Nature from light appears 
an impossibility only when it is not perceived that even in darkness there is 
a residue of light, that the darkness ill Nature is not an absolute, but a 
lllOdified darkness, tempered by light. 



THE :UYSTERY OF l\lYSTICIS
t 


87 


darkness, thus presupposing darkness, not nlaking it. If then 
God is once subjected to a generalla,v,-as he must necessarily 
be unless he be made the arena of conflict for the n10st senseless 
notions,-if self-consciousness in God as well as in itself, as in 
general, is evolved from a principle in Nature, why is not this 
natural principle abstracted from God? That which is a law 
of consciousness in itself, is a law for the consciousness of 
every per:::;onal being, whether man, angel, demon, God, or 
whatever else thou mayst conceive to thyself as a being. To 
what then, seen in their true light, do the two principles in God 
reduce themselves? The one to N atnre, at least to Nature as it 
exists in the conception, abstracted from its reality; the other 
to mind, consciousness, personality. The one halt: the reverse 
side, thou dost not name God, but only the obverse side, on 
which he presents to thee mind, consciousness: thus his specific 
essence, that whereby he is God, is mind, intelligence, con- 
sciousness. 'Vhy then dost thou make that which is properly 
the subject in God as God, i. c., as mind, into a mere predicate, 
as if God existed as God apart fronl n1Índ, froIn consciousness? 
'Yhy, but because thou art enslaved by mystical religious 
speculation, because the prinutry principle in thee is the 
illlfigination, thought being only secondary and serving but to 
throw into formulæ the products of the Ünagination,-because 
thou feelest at ease and at home only in the deceptive twilight 
of mysticism. 

I ysticism is deuteroscopy-a fabrication of phrases having a 
double meaning. The mystic speculates concerning the essence 
of Nature or of man, hut under, and by means of, the suppo- 
sition that he is speculating concerning ano.ther, a personal 
being, distinct from both. The mystic has the sallle objects as 
the plain, self-conscious thinker; but the real object is regarded 
by the mystic, not as itself, but as an imaginary being, and 
hence the imaginary object is to him the real object. Thus 
here, in the mystical doctrine of the two principles in God, 
the real object is pathology, the imaginary one, theology; i.e., 
pathology is converted into theology. There would be nothing 
to urge against this, if, consciously, real pathology were recog- 
nised anel expressed as theology; indeed, it is precisely our 
task to show that theology is nothing else than an unconscious, 
esoteric l)ttthology, anthropology, and psychology, and that 
therefore real anthropology, real pathology, and real psycho- 
logy have far more claim to the name of theology, than has 



88 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


theology itself, because this is nothing nlore than an irnaginary 
l)sychology and anthropology. But t.his doctrine or theory is 
supposed-and for this reason it is mystical and fantastic-to 
be not pathology, but theolugy, in the old 01' ordinary sense of 
the word; it is suppo
ed that we have here unfolded to us the 
life of a Being distinct from us, while nevertheless it is only 
our own nature which is unfolded, though at the saIne time 
again shut up froln us by the fact that this nature is repre- 
sented as inhering in another being. The mystic philosopher 
supposes that in God, not in us hUlnan inùividuals,-that 
would be far too trivial a truth,-reason first apI)ears after the 
Passion of Nature ;-that not man, but God, has wrestled him- 
self out of the obscurity of confused feelings and impulses 
into the clearne8s of knowledge; that not in our subjective, 
limited mode of conception, but in God himself, the nervous 
tremors of darkness precede the joyful consciousness of light; 
in short, he supposes that his theory presents not a history of 
hUlllan throes, but a history of the development, i.e., the throes 
of God-for developments (or transitions) are birth-struggles. 
But, alas! this supposition itself belongs only to the patho- 
logical element. 
If, therefore, the cosmogonic process presents to us the 
Light of the power of distinction as belonging to the divine 
essence; so, on the other hand, the Night or Nature in GOll, 
represents to us the Pensécs confuses of Leibnitz as divine 
powers. But the Pensées confuses-confused, obscure concep- 
tions and thoughts, or nlore correctly Î1nages, represent the 
flesh, matter ;-0, pure intelligence, separate from luatter, has 
only clear, free thoughts, no obscure, i.e., fleshly ideas, no 
nlaterial images, exciting the imagination and setting the blood 
in cOlllmotion. The Night in Gud, therefore, Ì1llplies nothing 
else than this: God is 110t only a spiritual but also a material, 
corporeal, fleshly being; but as man is man, and receives his 
designation, in virtue not of his fleshly nature, but of his mind, 
so is it with God. 
But the lnystic philosopher expresses this only in obscure, 
mystical, indefinite, dissembling irnages. Instead of the rude, 
but hence all the Inore precise and striking expression, flesh, it 
substitutes the equivocal, aÙbtract wonls, 1uttllre and gro'll,]ul. 
" As nothing is before or out of God, he must have the ground 
of his existence in himself. This all philosophies say, but 
they speak of this ground as a mere idea, without making it 



THE :MYSTERY OF }.rYSTICIS
r. 


8û 


something real. This ground of his existence whiéh God has 
in himself, is not God considered absolutely, i.e., in so far as 
he exists; it is only the ground of his existence. It is 
N ature--in God; an existence inseparable from hiIn, it is true, 
but still distinct. j-lnalogically (?), this relation may be illus- 
trated by gravitation and light in nature." But this ground is 
the non-intelligent in God. " That which is the commence- 
n1ent of an intelligence (in itself) cannot also be intelligent." 
" In the strict sense, intelligence is born of this unintelligent 
principle. 'Vithout this antecedent darkness there is no reality 
of the Creator." "'Vith abstract ideas of God as actus 1Juris- 
simlls, such as were laid down by the older philosophy, or such 
as the modern, out of anxiety to remove God far fronl Nature, 
is always reproducing, we can effect nothing. God is some- 
thing n10re real than a mere 11loral order of the world, and has 
quite another and a more living motive power in hinlself than 
is ascribed to him by the jejune subtilty of abstract idealists. 
Idealism, if it has not a living realisnl as its hasis, is as empty 
and abstract a system as that of Leibnitz or Spinoza, or as any 
other dognlatic system." "So long as the God of modern 
theism remains the simple, supposed purely essential but 
in fact nonessential Being that all modern systems make 
him, so long as a real duality is not recogllised in God, 
end a liIniting, negativing force, opposed to the expansive 
affirming force, so long will the denial of a personal God be 
scientific honestv." "All consciousness is concentration, is a 
gathering together, a collecting of one
elf. This negativing force 
by which a being turns hack upon itself, is the true force of 
personality, the force of egoislu." "How should there be a fear 
of God, if there were no strength in him? But that there 
should be something in God, which is n1ere force and strength, 
cannot be held a
tonishing if only it 1e not nlaintained that he 
is this alone and nothing besides."* 
But what then is force and strength which is merely such, 
if not corporeal force and strength? Dost thou know any 
power which stands at thy command, in distinction frolll 
the power of kindness and reason, besides muscular power? 
If thou canst effect nothing through kindness and the argu- 
roents of reason, force is what thou 11lust take refuge in. But 


* Schelling, Ueber das 'Vesen der 
Ienschlichen Freiheit, 429, 432, 427. 
Denkmal Jacobi's, s. 82, 97-99. 



90 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


canst thou" effect" anything without strong arms and fists? 
Is there known to thee, in distinction froln the power of the 
moral order of the worJel, "another and more living motive 
power" than the lever of the criminal court? Is not Nature 
without body also an "enlpty, abstract" idea, a "jejune sub- 
tilty ? " Is not the mystery of Nature the mystery of corpo- 
reality? Is not the system of a "living realism" the systenl of 
the organizeel body? Is there, in general, any other force, the 
opposite of intelligence, than the force of flesh and blood,- 
any other strength of Nature than the strength of the fleshly 
impulses? And the strongest of the impulses of:K ature, is it 
not the sexual feeling? 'Vho does not remember the old pro- 
verb: "A1nare et saprre 1.'ix Deo competit?" So that if we 
would posit in God a Nature, an existence opposed to the light 
of intelligence,-can we think of a more living, a nlore real 
antithesis, than that of a1nare and sapere, of spirit and flesh, 
of freedon1 and the sexual inlpulse? 
Personality, illdiyidualitv, consciousness, without Nature, is 
nothing; or," which is the sanle thing., an en11)ty, unsubstantial 
abstraction. But Nature, as has been shown and is obvious, 
is nothing without corporeality. The body alone is that nega- 
tiving, limiting, concentrating, circlunscribing force, without 
which no personality is conceiyable. Take away fron1 thy per- 
sonality its body, and thou takest away that which holds it 
together. The body is the basis, the subject of personality. 
Only by the body, is a real personality distinguished from the 
Ï1naginary one of a spectre. 'Vhat sort of abstract, vague, 
empty personalities should we be, if we had not the property 
of Í1npenetrability,-if in the SaI11e place, in the same fonn in 
which we are, others n1ight stand at the same tÏ1ne ? Only by 
the exclusion of others frol11 the space it occupies, (loes person- 
ality prove itself to be real. But a body does not exif't without 
flesh and blood. }--'lesh and blood is life, and life alone is cor- 
poreal reality. But flesh and blood is nothing without the 
oxygen of sexual distinction. The distinction of sex is not 
superficial, or lin1Ïted to certain parts of the body; it is an 
essential one: it penetrates bones and Inarrow. The substance 
of man, is manhood; that of WOlnan, ,yomanhood. However 
spiritual and super-:::;ensual the man may be, he remains always 
a man; and it is the saIne with the woman. Hcnce pE'l'son- 
ality is nothing without distinction of sex; personality is 
e88entially distil1guishetl into l11aSculil1e and fel11Ïnine. 'Vhere 



THE :\[YSTERY OF ?IYSTICIS
r. 


91 


there is no tho'll, there is no I; but the distinction between I 
find tholl, the fundamental condition of all personality, of all 
consciousness, is only real, living, ardent, when felt as the dis- 
tinction between man and WOlllan. The tlzOltJ between man and 
woman has quite another sound, than the monotonous thou 
between friends. 
Nature in distinction from personality can signify nothing 
else than difference of sex. A personal being RI)art from 
Nature is nothing else than a being without sex, and con- 
versely. Nature is said to be predicated of God, "in the 
sense in which it is said of a man, that he is of a strong, healthy 
nature." But what is nlore feeble, what more insupportable, 
what n10re contrary to Nature than a person "without sex, or a 
person, who in character, manners, or feelings, denies sex? 
'Vhat is virtue, the excellence úf man as man? 
Ianhood. Of 
man as woman? ,V olnanhood. But man exists onlv as man and 
woman. The strength, the healthiness of man, cònsists there- 
fore in this: that as a woman, he be truly WOlnall; as man, 
truly luan. Thou repucliatest "the horror of all that is real, 
which supposes the spiritual to be polluted "by contact with the 
real." Repu(liate then before all, thy own horror for the dis- 
tinction of sex. If God is not polluted by Nature, neÜher is 
he polluted by being associated with the idea of sex. In 
renouneing sex, thou renouncest thy whole principle. A n10ral 
God apart fronl Nature is without basis; but the basis of 
11lorality is the distinction of sex. Even the brute is capable 
of self-sacrificing love in virtue of the sexual distinction. All 
the glory of N nture, all its power, all its wisdonl and pro- 
fundity, concentrates and indiyidualizes itself in distinction of 
sex. \Vhy then dost thou shrink from nmnillg the nature of 
God by its true nalne? Evidently, only because thou hast a 
general horror of things in their truth and reality; because 
thou lookest at all things through the deceptive vapours of 
n1ysticism. For this very reason then, because Nature in God 
is only a delusive, unsubstantial appearance, a fanta.stic ghost 
of N ature,-for it is based, a.s we have said, not on flesh and 
blood, not on a real ground,-this att81npt to establish a per- 
sonal God is once more a failure, and I, too, conclude with the 
words, "the denial of a personal God will be scientific 
honesty":-and, I add, scientific truth, so long as it is not 
declared and 
ho"wn in unequivocal ternlS, first à priori, on 
speculative grounds, that fonn, place, corporeality, and sex, do 



92 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


not contradict the idea of the Godhead; and secondly, 
it posteriori,-for the reality of a personal being, is sustained 
only on empirical grounds,-what sort of fonn God has, where 
he exists,-in heaven,-and lastly, of what sex he is. 
Let the profound, speculative religious philosophers of Ger- 
many courageously shake off the embarrassing ren1nant of 
rationalism which yet clings to theIn, in flagrant contradiction 
with their true character; and let them complete their system, 
by converting the Inystical "potence" of Nature in God into 
a really powerful, generating God. 


The doctrine of Nature in God is borrowed from Jacob 
Böhme. But in the original it has a far deeper and more 
interesting significance, than in its second mOllernizpcl and 
emasculated edition. Jacob Böhme has a profoundly religions 
mind. lleligion is the centre of his life and thought. But at 
the same time, the significance which has been given to Nature 
in modern tÏ1nes-ùy the study of natural science, by Spino- 
zism, materialis1l1, empiricism-has taken possession of his 
religious sentiment. He has opened his senses to Nature, 
thrown a glance into her mysterious being; but it alarms him; 
and he cannot haTlnonize this terror at K ature with his religious 
conceptions. "'Vhen I looked into the great depths of this 
world, and at the sun and stars, also at the clouds, also at the rain 
and snow, and considered in Iny n1Ïnd the whole creation of 
this world; then I found in all things evil and good, love and 
nnger,-in unreasoning things, such as wood, stone, earth, and 
the elements, as well as in nlen and beasts. . . . . . .. But 
lJecause I found that in all things there was good and evil, in 
the elements as well as in the creatures, and that it goes as well 
in the world with the godless as with the pious, also that the 
ùarbarous nations possess the best lands, and have more pro- 
sperity than the godly; I was therefore altogether melancholy 
and extrelnely troubled, and the Scriptures could not console 
me, though ahnost all well known to n1e; find therewith assuredly 
the devil was not idle, for he often thrust upon me heathenish 
thoughts, of which I will here be silent,"* But while his 
mind seized with fearful earnestnes
 the dark side of Nature, 
,vhich did not harmonize with the religious idea or n heavenly 


* Kernhafter Auszug .... . J. Böhme: 
\.msterdam, 1718, p. 58, 



THE l\IYSTERY OF MYSTICISM. 


93 


Creator, he was on the other hand rapturously affected by her 
resplendent aspects. Jacob Böhnle has a sense for nature. 
He preconceives, nay, he feels the joys of the n1Ïnernlogist, of 
the botanist, of the chen1Ïst-the joys of "godless Natural 
science." He is enraptured by the splendour of jewels, the 
tones of metals, the hues and odours of plants, the beauty and 
gentleness of many aninlals. In another place, speaking of the 
revelation of God in the phenolnena of light, the process by 
which " there arises in the Godhead th e wondrous and beautiful 
structure of the heavens in various colour
 and kind
, and every 
spirit shows itself in its fOrIn specially," be says, "I can com- 
pare it with nothing but with the noblest precious stones, sueh 
as the ruby, emerald, epidote, onyx, sapphire, diamond, jasper, 
hyacinth, alllethyst, beryl, sardine, carbuncle, and the like." 
Elsewhere: "But regarding the precious stones, such as the 
carbuncle, ruby, 8lnerald, epidote, onyx, and the like, which are 
the very best, these haye the very SRnle origin-the Hash of light 
in love. For that flash is born in tenderness, and is the heart 
in the centre of the Fountain-spirit, wherefore those stones also 
are mild, powerful, and lovely." Itis evident that Jacob Böhme 
had no bad taste in mineralogy; that he haù delight in flowers 
also, and consequently a faculty for botany, is proyed by the 
following passages anlong others: - "The heavenly powers 
gave birth to heavenly joy-giving fl.'uits and colours, to all sorts 
of trees and shrubs, whereul)on grows the beauteous and lovely 
fruit of life: also there spring up in these powers all sorts of 
flowers with Leauteous heavenly colours and scents. Their 
taste is various, in each according to its quality and kind, 
altogether holy, divine, and joy-giving." " If thou desirest to 
contemplate the heavenly, divine pomp and glory, as they 3re, 
and to know what sort of pro(lncts, pleasure, or joys there are 
above: look diligently at this ,yodd, at the yarieties of fruits 
and plants that grow upon the earth,-trees, shrubs, vegetables, 
roots, flowers, oils, wines, corn, and everything that is there, 
and that thy heart can seal'ch out. All this is an image of the 
heavenly pOlnp."* 
....\ despotie fiat could not suffice as an explanation of the 
origin of Nature tn .Jacob Böhme; Nature appealed too strongly 
to his senses, and lay too near his heart; hence he sought for 


tHe L. c. p. 480, 338, 340, 323. 



94 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIA
ITY. 


a natural explanation of Nature; but he necessarily found no 
other ground of explanation than those qualities of Nature 
which made the strongest inlpression on hÜn. Jacob Bühme 
-this is his essential character-is a lnystical natural philoso- 
pher, a theosophic .Y ulranist and N eptunist, * for according to 
him, "all things hac I their origin in fire and water." Nature 
had fascinated Jacob's religious sentiments,-not in vain did 
he receive his mystical light fronl the shining of tin utensils; 
but the religious sentiment works only within itself; it has not 
the force, not the courage, to press forward to the examination 
of things in their reality; it looks at all things through the 
mediunl of religion, it sees all in God, i.e., in the entrancing, 
soul-possessing splendour of the imagination, it sees all in 
images and as an ÎInage. But Nature affected his n1Încl in an 
opposite manner; hence he nlust place this opposition in God 
himself,-for the supposition of two independently existing, 
opposite, original principles would have afflicted his religious 
sentÏ1nent ;-he nlust distinguish in God himself, a gentle, bene- 
ficent element, and a fierce consuming one. Everything fiery, 
bitter, harsh, contracting, dark, cold, comes from a divine 
harshness and bitterness; everything lnilù, lustrous, warn1Ìng, 
tender, soft, yielding, froln a nÜld, soft, luminous quality in 
God. "Thus are the creatures on the earth, in the water, and 
in the air, each creature out of its own science, out of good 
and evil. . . . As one sees before one's eyes that there are 
goot! and evil creatures; fis venomous beasts and sel1)ents 
ii'om the centre of the nature of darkness, fronl the power of 
the fierce quality, which only want to dwell in darkness, 
abiding in caves and hiding themselves froIll the sun. By each 
animal's food and dwelling we see whence they have sprung, 
for everv creature needs to dwell with its ulother, and yearns 
after h
r, as is plain to the sight." "Gold, silver, pl:ecious 
stones, anll all bright metal, has its origin in the light, which 
appeared before the times of anger," &c. " Everything which 
in the substance of this world is yielding, soft, and thin, is 
flowing, and gives itself forth, and the ground and origin of it 
is in the eternal Unity, for unity ever flows forth from itself; 
for in the nature of things not dense, as water and air, we can 


* The Pltilosophus teutoniclts walked physically as well as mentally on 
volcanic ground. "The town of Gör1itz is paved throughout with pure 
basalt." -Charpentier, l\Iilleral. Geographie del' Chursächsischen Lande, 
p. 19. 



THE MYSTERY OF MYSTICISM. 


9:> 


understand no susceptibility or pain, they being one in them- 
selves. * In short, heaven is as rich as the earth. Everything 
that is on this earth, is in heaven, t all that is in Nature is in 
God. But in the latter it is divine, heavenly; in the former, 
earthly, visible, external, nlaterial, but yet the sanle." "'Yhell 
I write of trees, shrubs and fruits, thou nlust not understand 
111e of earthly things, such as are in this .world; for it is not nlY 
meaning, that in heaven there grows a dead, hard, wooden tree, 
or a stone of earthly qualitie
. No: my nleaning is heavenly 
and spiritual, but yet truthful and literal; thus, I nlean no 
other things than what I write in the lettel's of the alphabet;" 
i.e., in heaven there are the SaIne trees and flowers, but the 
trees in heaven are the trees which bloom and exhale in my 
. imagination, without making coarse material ÏInpressions upon 
me; the trees on earth are the trees which I !)erceive through 
my senses. The distinction is the distinction between Ï1na- 
gination and perception. " It is not my undertaking," says 
J acab Böhme himself, "to describe the course of all stars, 
their place and name, or how they have yearly their conj unc- 
tion or opposition, or quadrate, or the like,-what they do 
yearly and hourly,-which through long years has been dis- 
covered Ly wise, skilful, ingenious TIlen, by diligent cont8Ill- 
plation and observation, and deep thought and calculation. I 
have not learned and studied these things, and leave scholars to 
treat of them, but my undertaking is to write according to the 
spirit ane} thought, not according to sight."* 
The doctrine of Nature in God aims, by naturalism, to 
establish thei::;m, especially the theism which regards the Su- 
preme Being as a personal being. But personal theisnl con- 
ceives God as a personal being, separate from all material 
things; it excludes fronl hinl all development, because that is 
nothing else than the self-separation of a being from circum- 
stances and conùitions which do not correspond to its true 


* L. c. p. 468, 617, 618. 
t According to Swedenborg, the angels in heaven have clothes and 
dwellings. "Their dwellings are altogether such as the dwellings or house
 
on earth, but far more beautiful; there are apartment::;, rooms, and sleeping. 
chambers therein in great number, and entrance-courts, and round about 
gardens, flowers, meadows, and fields." (E. v. S. auserlesene Schriften, 1 Th. 
.Frank!: a. 1\1. 1776, p. 190, and 96.) Thus to the mystic t.his world is the 
other world; but for that reason the other world is this world. 
! L. c. p. 339, p. 69. 



96 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


idea. And this does not take place in God, because in hiIn 
beginning, end, middle, are not to be distinguished,-because 
he is at once what he is, is from the beginning what he is to 
l)e, what he can be; he i
 the pure unity of existence and 
essence, reality and idea, act and will. Deus S1l1l1n Esse est. 
Herein theislll accords with the essence of religion. All re- 
ligions, however positive they nlay be, rest on abstraction; 
they are distinguished only in that frol11 which the abstraction 
is made. Even the HOllleric gods, with all their living strength 
and likeness to lnan, are abstract forms; tJ}ey have bodies, like 
nlen, but bodies from which the limitations and difficulties of 
the human body are elÍ1ninated. The idea of a divine being is 
essentially an abstracted, distilled idea. It is obvious that this 
abstraction is no arbitrary one, but is determined by the essen- 
tial stand-point of Inan. As he is, as 11e thinks, so does 
he nlake his abstraction. 
The abstraction expresses a juclgment,-an affirnlative and a 
negative one at the same time, praise and blanle. \Yhat Ulan 
praises and approves, that is God to hilll;* what he blames, 
cond81nns, is the non-divine. Religion is a judgment. The 
most essential condition in religion-in the idea of the 
divine being-is acconlingly the discrin1Ínatiol1 of the praise- 
worthy fronl the blalneworthy, of the perfect from the imper- 
fect ; in a word, of the positive from the negative. The cultus 
itself consists in nothing else than in the continual renewal of 
the origin of religion-a solemnizing of the critical discrÏ1ni- 
nation between the divine and the non-divine. 
The Divine Being is the hunlan Leing glorified by the death 
of abstraction; it is the departed sl)iri t of man. In religion 
man frees hÎ1nself fronl the IÏ1nits of life; he here lets fall 
".hat oppresses him, obstructs him, affects him repulsively; 
God is the self-consciousness of man freed from all discordant 
elenlents; man feels himself free, happy, Llessed in his religion, 
because he only here lives the life of genius, and keeps holiday. 
The basis of the divine idea lies for him outside of that idea itself; 
its truth lies in the prior judgrnent, in the fact that all which 
he excludes fronl God is previously judged by him to be nOll- 
divine, and what is non-divine to L8 worthless, nothing. If 
he were to include the attaining of this idea in the.idea itself, it 


* "Quidquid enim unus quisque super oætera colit: hoc illi Deus est. U 
-Ol'igines Explan. in Epist. Pauli ad Rom. c. 1. 



THE :M:YSTERY OF l\IYSTICISM. 


97 


would lose its most essential significance, its true value, its 
beatifying charm. The divine being .is the pure subjectivity 
of man, freed from all else, from every thing objective, having 
relation only to itself, enjoying only itself, reverencing only 
Üself-his most subjective, his inmost self. The process of 
discrimination, the separating of the intelligent from the non- 
intelligent, of personality fro1l1 nature, of the perfect fi.on1 the 
imperfect, necessarily therefore takes place in the subject, not in 
the object, and the idea of God lies not at the beginning but at 
the end of sensible existence, of the ,vodd, of Nature. "'Vhere 
Nature ceases, God lJegins," Lecause God is the ne plus 'lllt1'a, 
the last limit of abstraction. That from which I can no longer 
abstract is God
 the last thought which I nm capable of gTasp- 
ing-the last, i. e" the highest. III quo nihil 1najlls cogitari 
potest, Deus est. That this Omega of sensible existence be- 
comes an Alpha also, is easily conlprehensible; but the essen- 
tial point is, that he is the Omega. The Alpha is primarily 
a consequence; because God is the last or highest, he is also 
the first. And this predicate-the first Being, has by no 
means Ünmediately a cosmogollic significance, but only implies 
the highest rank. The creation in the l\Iosaic religion has 
for its end to secure to Jehovah the predicate of the highest 
and first, the true and exclusive God in opposition to idols. 
The effort to establish the personality of God through 
Nature, has therefore at its foundation an illegitimate, profane 
mingling of philosophy and religion, a conlplete absence of 
criticism and knowledge concerning the genesis of the personal 
God. 'Vhere personality is held the essential attribute of 
God, where it is said-an impersonal God is no God; there 
personality is held to be in and by itself the highest and most 
real thing, there it is presupposed that everything which is 
not a person is dead, is nothing, that only personal existence 
is real, absolute existence, is life and truth :-but Nature is 
impersonal, and is therefore a trivial thing. The truth of 
personality rests only on the untruth of Nature. To predicate 
personality of God is nothing else than to declare personality 
as the absolute essence; but personality is only conceived 
in distinction, in abstraction from Nature. Certainly a 
merely personal God is an abstract God; but so he ought to 
be-that is involved in the idea of him; for be is nothing 
else than the personal nature of man positing itself out of all 
connexion with the world, making itself free from all depend, 
F 



98 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


ence on nature. In the personality of God Dlan consecrates 
the supernaturalness, immortality, independence, unlimitedness 
of his own personality. 
In general, the need of a personal God has its foundation in 
this, that only in the attribute of l)ersonality does the personal 
man meet with hinlself, find hÏInself. Substance, pure spirit, 
lllere reason, does not satisfy him, is too abstract for hin1, i.e., 
does not expl'ess hÌIl1self, does not lead hinl back to himself. 
And man is content, happy, only when he is with himself, with 
his own nature. Hence, the nlore personal a man is, the 
stronger is his need of a personal God. The free, abstract 
thinker knows nothing higher than freedoln; he does not 
need to attach it to a personal being; for him freedom in it- 
self, as such, is a real positive thing. A mathematical, astro- 
nomical mind, a man of pure understanding, an objective man, 
who is not shut up in himself, who feels free and happy only in 
the contemplation of objective rational relations, in the reason 
which lies in things in themselves-such a man will regard 
the substance of Spinoza, or some similar idea, as his highest 
being, and be full of antipathy towards a personal, i. e., sub- 
jective God. Jacobi therefore was a classic IJhilosopher, be- 
cause (in this respect, at least) lle was consistent, he was at 
unity with himself; as was his God, so was his philosophy- 
personal, subjective. The personal God cannot be established 
otherwise than as he is established by Jacobi and his disciples. 
Personality is proved only in a personal manner. 
Personali ty may be, nay, must be, founded on a natural 
basis; but this natural1)asis is attained only when I cease to 
grope in the darkness of mysticisln, when I step forth into the 
clf'ar daylight of real Nature, and exchange the idea of the 
personal God for the idea of personality in general. But into 
the idea of the personal God, the positive idea of whom is 
liberated, disembodied personality, released from the limiting 
force of Nature, to smug'gle again this very Nature, is as per- 
verse as if I were to mix Brunswick mum with the nectar of the 
gqds, in order to gh-e the ethereal beverage a solid foundation. 
Certainly the ingredients of animal blood are not to be derived 
fronl the celestial juice which nourishes the gods. But the 
flower of sublimation arises only through the evaporation of 
matter; why, then, wilt thou mix with the sublimate that very 
matter fl.'onl which thou hast disengnged it? Certainly, the 
impersonal existence of Nature is not to be eXplained by the 



THE }IYSTERY OF MYSTICISlrI. 


99 


idea of personality; but where personality is a truth, or, rather, 
the absolute truth, Nature has no positive significance, and 
consequently no positive basis. The literal creation out of 
nothing is here the only sufficient ground of explanation; for 
it simply says this: Nature is nothing ;-and this precisely 
expresses the significance which Nature has for absolute 
personali ty. 


4- 


F2 



100 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRIS TIANITY. 


CHAPTER X. 


THE 
IYSTERY OF PROVIDENCE, AND CREATION OUT 
OF NOTHING. 


CREATION is the spoken word of God; the creative, cosmo- 
gonic fiat is the tacit word, identical with the thought. To 
speak is an act of the will; thus, creation is a product of the 
Will: as in the 'Y ord of God man affirms the divinity of the 
human word, so in creation he affirms the divinity of the 
Will: not, however, the will of the reason, but the will of the 
imagination-the absolutely subjective, unlin1Ìted will. The 
culminating point of the principle of subjectivity is creation out 
of nothing. * As the eternity of the world or of matter imports 
nothing further than the essentiality of matter, so the creation 
of the world out of nothing imports simply the non-essentiality, 
the nothingness of the world. The commenceJnent of a thing 
is immediately connected, in idea if not in time, with its end. 
"Lightly COlne, lightly go." The will bas called it into 
existence-the will calls it back again into nothing. 'Yhen? 
The time is indifferent: its existence or non-existence depends 
only on the will. But this will is not its own will :-not only 
because a thing cannot will its non-existence, but for the prior 
reason that the world is itself destitute of will. Thus the 
nothingness of the world expresses the power of the will. The 
will that it should exist is, at the sanle time, the will-at least 
the possible will-that it should not exist. The existence of 
the world is therefore a momentary, arbitrary, unreliable, i.e., 
:Inreal existence. 
Creation out of nothing is the highest expression of omni- 
j)otence: lJut omnipotence is nothing else than subjectivity 
exempting itself from all objective conditions and limitations, 


* "Quare fecit Deu
 cælum et terram P Quia voluit. V oluntas enim Dei 
causa est cæli et terræ et ideo major est voluntas Dei quam cælum et terra. 
Qui autem dicit: quare voluit facere cælum et terram P majus aliquid quæ- 
rit, quam est voluntas Dei, nihil enim majus invenire potest."-Augustinus 
(de Genesi adv. l\Ianich. 1. i. c. 2). 



THE MYSTERY OF PROVIDENCE. 


101 


and consecrating this exemption as the highest power and 
reality: nothing ebe than the alility to posit everything real 
as unreal-everything conceivable as possible: nothing else 
than the power of the imagination, or of the will as identical 
with the imagination, the power of self-will.* The strongest 
and most characteristic expression of suhjective arbitrari- 
lless is, "it has pleased ;"-the phrase, "it has pleased God 
to call the world of bodies and spirits into existence," is the 
most undeniable proof that individual subjectivity, individual 
arbitrariness, is regarded as the highest essence-the olnnipo- 
tent world -principle. On this ground, creation out of nothing 
as a work of the Almighty 'Vill falls into the same category 
with miracle, or rather it is the first miracle, not only in time 
but in rank also ;-the principle of which all further miracles 
are the spontaneous result. The proof of this is history itself; 
all miracles have been vindicated, explained, and illustrated by 
appeal to the omnipotence which created the wodd out of 
nothing. 'Yhy should not He who made the ,vorld out of 
nothing, make wine out of water, bring human speech from 
the mouth of an ass, and chann water out of a rock? But 
miracle is, as we shall see further on, only a product and object 
of the inlagination, and hence creation out of nothing, as the 
primitive miracle, is of the same character. :For this reason 
the doctrine of creation out of nothing has heen pronounced a 
supernatural one, to which reason of itself could not have 
attained; and in proof of this, appeal has ùeen made to the 
fact that the Pagan philosophers represented the ,vodd to have 
been formed by the Divine Reason out of already existing 
l11atter. But this supernatural principle is no other than the 
principle of subjectivity, which in Christianity exalted itself 
to an unlimited, universal n10nal'chy; whereas the ancient 
philosophers ,vere not subjective enough to regard the ab- 
solutely subjective being as the exclusively absolute being, 
because they limited subjectivity by the contemplation of the 
world or reality-because to thenl the world was a truth. 
Creation out of nothing, as identical with miracle, is one 
with l
rovidence; for the idea of Providence-originally, in its 


* A more profound origin of the creation out of nothing lies in the 
emotional nature, as is both directly and indirectly declared in this work. 
Eut arbitrariness is, in fact, the will of the emotions, their external mani. 
festation of force. 



102 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


true religious significance, in which it is not yet infringed 
upon and limited by the unbelieving understanding-is one 
with the idea of miracle. The proof of Providence is miracle.* 
Belief in Providence is belief in a power to which all things 
stand at comnland to be used according to its pleasure, in 
opposition to which all the power of reality is nothing. Provi- 
dence cancels the laws of Nature; it interrupts the course of 
necessity, the iron 1)ond which inevitably binds effects to 
causes; in short, it is the same unlimited, all-powerful will, 
that called the world into existence out of nothing. J\rIirac1e 
is a creatio ex nih ilo. He who turns water into wine, makes 
,vine out of nothing, for the con
tituents of wine are not found 
in water; otherwise, the production of wine would not be a 
miraculous, but a natural act. The only attestation, the only 
proof of Providence is miracle. Thus Providence is an ex- 
pression of the same idea as creation out of nothing. Creation 
out of nothing can only be understood and eXplained in con- 
nexion with Providence; for miracle properly implies nothing 
more than that the miracle ,yorker is the same as he who 
brought forth all things by his mere will-God the Creator. 
But Providence has relation essentially to man. It is for 
n1an's sake that Providence makes of things whatever it pleases: 
it is for man's sake that it supersedes the authority and reality 
of a la,v otherwise omnipotent. The admiration of Providence 
in Nature, especially in the anÜnal kingdom, is nothing else 
than an admiration of Nature, and therefore belongs merely to 
naturalism, though to a religious naturalism;t for in Nature 
is revealed only natural, not divine Providence-not Pro- 
vidence as it is "an object to religion. Religious Providence 
reveals itself only in miracles-especially in the Iniracle of the 
Incarnation, the central point of religion. But ,ve nowhere 
read that God, for the sake of brutes, becanle a brute-the very 


* "Certissimum divinæ providentiæ testimonium præbent miracula." 
-H. Grotius (de Verit, ReI. Christ. 1. i. 
 13). 
t It is true that l'eligious naturalism, or the acknowledgment of the 
Divine in Nature, is also an element of the Christian religion, and yet more 
of the l\losaic, which was so friendly to animals. But it is by no means 
the characteristic, the Christian tendency of the Christ.ian religion. The 
Christian, the religious Providence, is quite another than that which clothes 
the lilies and feeds the ravens, The natural Providence lets a man sink in 
the water, if he has not learned to swim; but the Christian, the l'eligious 
Providence, leads him with the hand of omnipotence over the water un- 
harmed. 



THE 1tIYRTERY OF PROVIDEXCE. 


103 


idea of this is, in the eyes of religion, Ï1npious and ungodly; 
or that God ever perfonned a Iniracle for the sake of animals or 
plants. On the contrary, we read that a pOOl' fig-tree, because it 
bore no fruit at a time when it could not bear it, was cursed, 
purely in order to give nlen an exalnple of the power of faith 
over Nature ;-and again, that when the tormenting devils were 
driven out of men, they were drivcl1 into brutes. It is truf 
we also read: "No sparrow falls to the ground without your 
Father;" but these sparrows have no lllore worth and inlportance 
than the hairs on the head of a nlan, which are all numbered. 
Apart frOll1 instinct, the brute has no other guardian spirit, 
no other Providence, than its senses or its organs in general. 
A bird which loses its eyes has lust its guardian angel; it neces- 
sarily goes to destruction if no n1Ìracle happens. 'Ye reatl 
indeed that a raven brought food to the prophet Elijah, but 
not (at least to my knowledge) that an animal was supported 
by other than natural means. But if a man believes that 
he also has no other Providence than the powers of his 
race-his senses and understallding,-he is in the eyes of 
religion, and of all those who speak the language of religion, 
an irreligious man; because he believes only in a natural Pro- 
vidence, and a natural Proyidence is in the eyes of religion as 
good as none. Hence Providence has relation essentially to 
men, and even mnong men only tu the religious. " God is the 
Saviour of all men, but especially of them that believe." It 
belongs, like religion, only tu luan; it is intended to expres:::; 
the essential distinction of luan from the brute, to rescue man 
from the tyranny of the forces of Nature. .J onah in the whale. 
Daniel in the den of lions, are examples of the lnalinei' ill 
which Providence distinguishes (religious) men from brutes. 
If therefore the l:}rovidence which lnaliifests itself in the organs 
with which animals catch and devour their prey, and which is 
so greatly adn1Ïred by Christian naturalists, is a truth, the Pro- 
vidence of the Bible, the Providence of religion, is a falsehood; 
and vice versâ-: 'Yhat pitiable and at the sanle tinle ludicrous 
hypocrisy is the attempt to do hOlnage to both, to K ature and 
the Bible at once! How does Nature contradict the Bible! 
How does the Bible contradict Nature! The God of Nature 
reveals himself by giying to tlle lion strength and appropriate 
.organs in order that, for the preservation of his life, he may in 
case of necessity kill and devour even a human being; 
the God of the Bible reveals hinlself by interposing his 



101 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


own aid to rescue the human being from the Jaws of the 
lion !* 
Providence is a privilege of man. It expresses the value of 
man, in distinction from other natural beings and things; it 
eXeInpts hiln fl'OJn the connexion of the universe. Pruvidence 
is the conviction of man of the infinite value of his existence,- 
a conviction in which he renounl
es faith in the reality of exter- 
nal things; it is the idealism of religion. Faith in Proviùence 
is therefore identical with faith in personal inl1110rtality; save 
only, that ill the latter the infinite value of existence is 
expressed in relation to tinle, as infinite duration. He who 
prefers no sppcial claÌIns, who is indifferent about himself
 
who identifies himself with the world, who sees hÌ1nself as a 
part merged in the whole,-such a one believes in no l)rovi- 
dence, i,e" in no bpecial Providence; but only special Providence 
is Providence in the sense of religion. Faith in Providence is 
faith in one's own worth, the faith of man in himself; hence 
the 1)eneficent consequences of this faith, but hence also 
false humility, religious arrogance, vdÚch, it is true, does not 
rely on itself, but only because it cOInn1Ìts the care uf itself to 
the blessed God. God. concerns hinlself about nle; he has in 
view my happiness, Iny salvation; he wills that I shall be blest; 
but that is nlY will also: thus, my interest is God's interest, 
Iny own will is God's will, my own aim is God's aim,-God's 
lo
e for me nothing else than'my self-love deified. Thus when 
I believe in Pl"ovidence, in what do I believe but in the divine 
reality and significance of my own being? 
But where Providence is helieved in, belief in God is made 
dependent on belief in Providence. He who denies that there 
is a Providence, denies that there is a God, or-what is the 
SaIne thing-tlw.t God is Gull; for a God whu is not the 
Providence of lnan, is a contenlptible God, a Goel who is 
wanting in the divinest, nlost adorable attribute. Conse- 
quently, the belief in God is nothing but the belief in hUlllan 
dignity,*- the belief in the absolute reality and significance of 
the hUlnan nature. But belief in a (religious) Providence is 


:)I: In this contrast of the religious, or biblical, and the natural Providence, 
the author had especially in view the vapid, narrow theology of the English 
natural philoðophers, 
t "Qui Deos negant, nobilitatem generis humani destruunt,."-Bacon 
(Serm. :Fidel. 16). 



THE :\IYSTERY OF PROVIDENCE. 


105 


belief in creation out of nothing, and rice 1."crsÛ; the latter, 
therefore, can have no other significance than that of l>rovi- 
dence as just developed, and it has actually no other. Religion 
sufficiently expresses this by making man the end of creation. 
All things exist, not for their own sake, but for the sake of 
Inan. He who, like the pious Christian naturalists, pro- 
nounces this to be pride, declares Christianity itself to be 
pride; for to say that the nlaterial world exists for the sake of 
Tuan, implies infinitely less than to 
ay that God-or at least, 
if we follow Paul, a being who is almost God, scarcely to be 
distinguished from God-becomes 111an for the sake of men. 
But if man is the end of creation, he is also the true cause 
of creation, for the end is the principle of action. The 
distinction between man as the end of creation, and lnan as its 
cause, is only that the cause is the latent, inner man, the 
essential man, whereas the end is the self-evident, empirical. 
individual man,-that man recognises himself as the end of 
creation, but not as the cause, because he distinguishes the 
cause, the essence from himself as another personal being.*" 
But this other being, this creative principle, is in fact nothing 
else than his subjective nature separated fi'om the IÏ1nits of 
individuality and nlateriality, i.e., of objectivity, unlimited will, 
perf-\onality posited out of all connexion with the world,- 
which by creation, i.e., the positing of the world, of objectivity, 
of another, as a dependent, finite, non-essential existenee, 
gives itself the certainty of its exclusive reality. The point 
in question in the Creation is not the truth and reality of the 
world, but the truth and reality of personality, of subjectivity 
in distinction from the world. The point in tluestion is the 
l)ersonalìty of God; but the personality of God is the 


:J: In Clemens Alex. (Coh, ad Gentes) there is an interesting l)assage. It 
ruus in the Latin translation (the bad Augsburg edition, 1778) thus :- 
" At nos ante mundi constitutionem fuimus, ratione futuræ nostl'æ pro.. 
ductionis, in ipso Deo quodammodo tum præexistentes. Divini igitur 
Verbi sive Rationis, nos creaturæ rationales sumu::;, et per eum prilni e::;se 
dicimur, quoniam in principio erat verbmn." Yet more dtcidedly, however, 
has Christian mysticism declared the human nature to be the creative prin- 
ciple, the ground of the world. "l\Ian, who, before time was, existed in 
eternity, works with God all the works that God wrought a thousand 
years ago, and now, after a thousand years, still works." "All creatures 
have sprung forth through Inall."-Predigten, VOl' u. zu Tauleri Zeiten. 
(Ed. c. p. 5. p. 119.) 


F3 



106 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


personality of man freed from all the conditions and limita- 
tions of Nature. Hence the fervent interest in the Creation, 
the horror of all pantheistic cosmogonies. The Creation, like 
the idea of a personal God in general, is not a scientific, but 
f1 personal matter; not an object of the free intelligence, but 
of the feelings; for the point on which it hinges is only the 
guarantee, the last conceivable proof and demonstration of 
personality or subjectivity as an essence quite apart, having 
nothing in common with Nature, a supra-and extramundane 
entity.* 
l\lan distinguishes himself from Nature. This distinction of 
his is his God: the distinguishing of God froln Nature is 
nothing else than the distinguishing of man fronl Nature. 
The antithesis of pantheism and personalism resolves itself 
into the question: is the nature of man transcendental or 
immanent, supranaturalistic or naturalistic? The speculations 
and controversies eoncerning the personality or Ílllpersonality 
of God are therefore fruitless, idle, uncritical, and odious; 
for the speculatists, especially those who maintain the person- 
ality, do not call the thing by the right name; they put the 
light under a bushel. vrhile they in truth speculate only 
concerning themselves, only in the interest of their own 
instinct of self-preservation; they yet will not allow that 
they are splitting their brains only about themselves; they 
speculate under the delusion that they are se3Tching out the 
Inysteries of another being. Pantheism iùentifies man with 
Nature, whether with its visihle appearance, or its abstract 
essence. Persollalisln isolates, separates hil1l from Nature; 
converts hÍ1n froln a part into the whole, into an absolute 
essence by himself. This is the distinction. If, therefore, you 
would be clear on these subjects, exchange your mystical, 
perverted anthropology, which you call theology, for real 
anthropology, and speculate in the light of consciousness and 
Nature concerning the difference or identity of the hunlan 
essence with the essence of Nature. You yourselves adn1Ït 
that the essence of the pantheistical God is nothing but the 
essence of Nature. \Vhy, then, will you only see the mote in 


* Hence is explained why all attempts of speculative theology and of its 
kindred philosophy to make the transition from God to the world, or to 
derive the world from God, have failed and must fail. Namely, because 
they are fundampntally false, from being made ill ignorance of the idea on 
which the Creation really turns. 



THE 1tIYSTERY OF PROVIDENCE. 


107 


the eyes of your OppOll
llt
, and not observe the ,ery obvious 
beam in your own eyes? why make yourselves an exception to 
a universally valid law? ....\tln1Ït that your personal God iH 
nothing else than your own personal nature, that while you 
believe in and construct your supra-and extra-natural God, 
JOU believe in and construct nothing else than tbe supra-and 
extranaturalism of your own self. 
In the Creation, as everywhere else, the true principle is 
concealed by the intenningling of universal, lnetaphysical, 
and even pantheistic definitions. But one need only be 
attentive to the closer definitions to convince oneself that 
the true principle of creation is the self-affil'lnation of sub- 
jectivity in distinction from Nature. God produces the world 
outside himself; at first it is only an idea, a plan, a resolve; 
now it becomes an act, and therewith it steps forth out of God 
as a distinct and, r
latively at least, a self-subsistent object. 
But just so subjectivity in general, which distinguishes itself 
fron1 the world, which takes itself for an essence distinct from 
the ,vodd) posits the wodd out of itself as a separate existence, 
indeed, this positing out of self, and the distinguishing of self, 
is one act. 'Yhen therefore tbe world is posited outside of 
God, God is posited by hÏInself, is distinguished froln the 
world. \Vhat else then is God but Jour subjective nature, 
,vhen the world is separated from it?* It is true that when 
astute reflection intervenes, the distinction between extra 
and intra is disavowed as a finite and human (?) distinction. 
But to the disavowal by the understanding, which in rela- 
tion to religion is pure misunderstanding, no credit is due. If 
it is lIleant seriously, it destroys the foundation of the religious 
consciousness; it does away with the possibility, the very prin-- 
ciple of the creation, for this rests solely on the reality of th0 
abovementioned distinction. 1\loreo,er, the effect of the orea- 


* It is not adlnissible to urge against this the omnipresence of God, the 
existence of God in all things, or the existence of things in God. For, 
apart from the consideration that the future destruction of the world 
expresses clearly enough its existence outside of God, i.e., its non-divine
 
ness, God is in a special manner only in man; but I am at home only 
where I am specially at home. "Nowhere is God properly God, but in the 
soul. In all creatures there is something of God; but in the soul God exists 
completely, for it is hiò resting-place."-Predigten etzlicher Lehrer, &c" 
p.19. And the existence of things in God, especially where it has no panthe- 
istic significance, and any such is here excluded, is equally an idea without 
reality, and does not express the special sentiments of religion. 



108 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


tion, all its majesty for the feelings and the Ïlnagination, is 
quite lost, if the production of the world out of God is not 
taken in the real sense. "\Vhat is it to nlake, to create, to 
})roduce, but to make that ,yhich in the first instance is only 
subjective, and so far invisible, non-existent, into 
omething 
objective, perceptible, so that other beings besides me lnay 
know and enjoy it, and thus to put something out of myself, 
to make it distinct from myself? "\Vhere there is no reality or 
possihility of an existence external to me, there can be no 
question of making or creating. God is eternal, but the world 
had a cOlnmencement; God was, when as yet the .world was 
not; God is invisible, not cognizable by the senses, but the 
world is yisible, palpable, material, and therefore outside of 
God; for how can the lnaterial as such, body, 11latter, be in 
God? The world exists outside of God, in the same sense in 
which a tree, an al1Ìnlal, the world in general, exists outside of 
my conception, outside of lnyself, is an existence distinct from 
subjectivity. Hence, only ,vhen such an external existence is 
adn1Ìtted, as it was by the ohler philosophers and theologians, 
l1ave ,ve the genuine, unn1Ïxed doctrine of the religious con- 
sciousness. The speculative theologians and philosophers of 
moùern tinles, on the contrary, foist in all sorts of pantheistic 
definitions, although they deny the principle of pantheism; 
and the result of this process is simply an absolutely self- 
contradictory, insupportable fabrieation of their o,vn. 
Thus the creation of the world expresses nothing else than 
subjectivity, assuring itself of its O1\ T n reality and infinity 
through the consciousness that the ,yorld is created, is a pro- 
duct of will, i.e., a dependent, powf'rIess, unsubstantial exist- 
ence. The" nothing" out of which the world was produced, 
is a still inherent nothingness. 'Yhen thou sayest the 1\ T orId 
was nlade out of nothing, thou conceivest the wodel itself as 
nothing, thou clearest away [l'om thy head all the limits to thy 
Ì111agination, to thy feelings, to thy will, for the world is the 
limitation of thy ,vill, of thy desire; the world alone obstructs 
thy soul; it alone is the wall uf separation between thee 
and God,-thy beatified, perfected nature. Thus, subjec- 
tively, thou annihilatest the worlel ; thou thinkest God by him 
 
self, i.e., nbsolntely ulllirnited su
jectivity, the subjectivity or 
soul which enjoys itself alone, which needs not the world, 
,dÜch knows :nothing of the painful bonds of Inatter. In the 
inmost depths of thy soul thou wouldest rather there were no 



THE l\IYSTERY OF PROVIDENCE. 


109 


world, for where the worlù is, there is nlatter, and where there 
is matter there is weight and resistance, space anù tÜue, lin1Ït- 
ation and necessity. Nevertheless, there is a wodel, there is 
matter. How dost" thou e
eape frolll the dilenlma of this con- 
tradiction? How dost thou expel the 'world frolll thy con- 
sciousness, that it may not disturb thee in the beatitude of the 
unlimited soul? Only by making the world itself a product 
of will, by giving it an arbitrary existence always hovering 
between existence and non-existence, always awaiting its anni- 
hilation. Certainly the act of creation does not suffice to ex- 
plain the existencè of the world or nlatter (the two are not 
separahle), but it is a total misconception to demand this of 
it, for the fundmllental iclea of the creation is this: there is to 
be no world, no matter; and hence its end is daily looked 
forward to with longing. The world in its truth does not here 
exist at all, it is regarded only as the obstruction, the limita- 
tion of suùjectivity; how could the world in its truth and 
reality be deduced fronl a principle which ùenies the world? 
In order to recogni
e the above developed significance of the 
creation as the true one, it is only necessary seriously to con- 
sider the fact, that the chief point in the creation is not the 
production of earth and water, plants and aninlals, for which 
indeed there is no God, but the production of personal beings 
-of spirits, according to the ordinary phrase. God is the idea 
of personality as itself a person, subj ectivity existing in itself 
apart from the world, existing for self alone, without wants, 
l)osited as absolute existence, the rne without a thee. But as 
absolute existence for self alone contradicts the idea of true 
life, the idea of love; as self-consciousness is essentially united 
"with the consciousness of a thee, as 
olitude cannot, at least in 
perpetuity, preserve itself froln tedium and unifonnity; thought 
imnlediately l)rOceeds from the divine Being to other conscious 
beings, and expands the idea of personality which was at first 
condensed in one being to a plurality of persons.* If the 


* Here is also the point where the Creation l'epresents to us not only 
the Divine power, but also the Divine love. "Quia bonus est (Deus), sumus." 
(Augustin.) In the beginning, before the world, God was alone. "Ante 
onlnia Deus erat solus, ipsi Hibi et mundus et locus et omnia. Solus autem; 
quia nihil extrinsecus præter ipsum." (Tertullian,) But there is no higher 
happiness than to make another happy, bliss lies in the act of imparting. 
And only joy, only love imparts. Hence man conceive:s imparting love as 
the principle of existence. "Extasis boni non sinit ipsum manere in se ipso." 



110 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


person is conceived physically, as a real n1an, in vdlich forIn he 
is a being with wants, he appears first at the end uf the physical 
,,
orld, when the conditions of his existence are present,-as the 
goal of creation. If, on the other hand, man is conceived 
abstractly as a person, as is the case in religious speculation, 
this circuit is dispensed with, and the task is the direct deduc- 
tion of the person, i,e., the self-denlonstration, the ultÍ1nate 
self-verification of the human personality. It is true that the 
divine personality is distinguished ín every possible way from 
the human in order to yeil their identity; but these distinctions 
are either purely fantastic, or they are mere assertions, devices 
which exhibit the invalidity of the attenlpted deduction. All 
!)ositiY8 grounds of the creation reduce themselves only to the 
conditions, to the grounds, which urge upon the?1le the con- 
sciousness of the necessity of another personal being. Specu- 
late as much as you will, you will never derive your personality 
from God, if you have not beforehand introduced it, if God 
himself be not already the idea of your personality, your own 
subjective nature. 


(Dionysius A,) Everything positive establishes, attests itself, only òy 
itself. The divine love is the joy of life, establishing itself, affirming itself. 
But the highest self-consciousness of life, the supreme joy of life is the love 
which confers happiness. God is the bliss of existence. 



THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CREATION. 111 


CHAPTER XI. 


THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CREATION IN JUDAISl\I. 


THE doctrine of the Creation sprang out of J udaisn1; indeed, 
it is the characteristic, the fundfllllental doctrine of the Jewish 
religion. The principle which lies at its foundation is, how- 
ever, not so much the principle of subjectivity as of egoism. 
The doctrine of the Creation in its characteristic significance 
arises only on that stand -point where lTIfU1 in practice Inakes 
Nature merely the servant of his will and needs, and hence in 
thought also degrades it to a mere machine, a product of the 
will. Now its existence is intelligible to hÏ1n, since he explains 
find interprets it out of himself, in accordance with his own 
feelings and notions. The question, 'Vhence is J\ ature or the 
world? presupposes ,yonder that it exists, or the question, 
'Vhy does it exist? But this ,vonùer, this question, arises only 
where man has separated himself from Nature and made it a 
mere object of will. The author of the Book of'Visdom says 
truly of the heathens, that, "for admiration of the beauty of 
the world they did not raise themselves to the idea of the 
Creator." To "him who feels that Nature is lovely, it fil)pears 
an end in itself, it has the ground of its existence in itself: in 
hill1 the question, 'Yhy does it exist? does not arise. Nature 
and God are identified in his consciousness, his percep- 
tion, of the worlù. Nature, as it in1presses his senses, has 
indeed had an origin, has l)een produced, but not created 
in the religious sense, is not an arbitrary product. And 
by this origin he in1plies nothing evil; originating involves 
for him nothing impure, un divine ; he conceives his gods 
themselves as having had an origin. The generative force 
is to him the prhnal force: he posits, therefore, as the 
ground of Nature, a force of N ature,-a real, present, visibly 
active force, as the ground of reality. Thus does man think 
where his relation to the world is æsthetic or theoretic, (for the 



112 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


theoretic view was originally the æsthetic view, the prlJna lJhi- 
losophia,) where the idea of the world is to hÏ1n the idea of the 
Cosmos, of majesty, of deity itself. Only where such a theory 
was the fundan1ental principle could there be conceived and 
expressed such a thought aR that of Anaxagoras :-man is born 
to behold the world, * The 
tand -point of theory is the stand- 
point of harmony with the world. The subjective activity, that 
in which man contents hinlself, allows himself free play, is here 
the sensuous inutgination alone. Satisfied with this, he lets 
Nature subsist in peace, and constructs his castles in the air, 
his poetical cosmogonies, only out of naturallllaterials. 'Vhen, 
on the contrary, man places himself only on the l)ractical stand- 
point and looks at the world froln thence, making the practical 
stand-point the theoretical one also, he is in disunion with 
Nature; he makes Nature the abject yassal of his selfish 
interest, of his l)ractical egoism. The theoretic expression of 
this egoistical, practieal view, according to which Nature is 
in itself nothing, is this: Nature or the world is nlade, created, 
the p"roduct of a COInmancl. God said. Let the world Le, and 
straightway the world presented itself at His bidding. t 
U tilisln is the essential theory of Judaism. The belief in a 
special Divine Providence is' the characteristic belief of 
.T udaisIn; helief in Providence is belief in nÜracle; but belief 
in Iniracle exists where N atnre is regarded only as an ohject 
of arbitrariness, of egoism, which uses Nature only as an instru- 
n1ent of its own \vill i.tnd pleasure. 'Vater divides or rolls itself 
together like a firm mass, dust is changed into lice, a staff into 
a serpent, rivers into blood, a rock into a fountain; in tIlt' smne 
place it is both light and clark at once, the sun now stands still, 
now goes backward. And all the::;e contradictions of Nature 
happen for the welfare of Israel, purely at the cOillllland of 
Jehovah, who troubles hÏ1nself about nothing but I:srael, \vho i
 


* In Diogenes (L. 1. ii. c. iii. 
 6), it is literally, "for the contemplation 
of the sun, the moon and the heavens." Similar ideaR were held by other 
philosophers. Thus t.he Stoics also said :-" Ipse autem homo ortus est ad 
mundum contemplandum et imitandum."-Cic. (de Nat.) 
t "Heb;æi numen vcrbo quidquid 
i
etur e
ciens describunt et quasi im- 
perIO omnIa creata tradunt, ut facIhtatem In eo quod vult efficiclldo, 
summamque ejus in omnia potelltiam ostendant."-Ps. xxxiii. 6. "V erbo 
Jehovæ cæli facti sunt."-Ps. cxIviii. 5. "Ille jussit eaque creata 
unt."-J. 
Clericus (Comment. in l\Iosem. Genes. i. 3). 



THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CREATIO
. 113 


nothing but the personified selfishness of the Israelitish people, 
to the exclusion of all other nations,-absolute intolerance, the 
secret essence of monotheism. 
The Greeks looked at Nature with the theoretic sense; they 
lleard heavenly music in the harmonious course of the stars; 
they saw Nature ri::;e from the foan1 of the all-producing ocean 
as V. enns Anadyomene. The Israelites, on the contrary, 
opened to Nature only the gastric sense; their taste for Nature 
lay only in the palate; their consciousness of God in eating 
manna. The Greek addicted himself to polite studies, to the 
fine arts, to philosophy; the Israelite elid not rise above the 
alimentary view of theology. "..A.t even ye shall eat flesh, and 
in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know 
that I am the Lord vour God."* " And Jacob vowed a YOW, 
saying, 'If God will be with 111e, and will keep me in this way 
that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and rainlent to put on, so 
that I COlne again to my father's house in peace, then shall the 
Lord be my God."t Eating is the most solemn act or the 
initiation of the .J ewish religion. In eating the Israelite 
celebrates and renews the act of creation; in eating lllan 
declares Nature to be an insignificant object. 'Yhen the 
seventy elders ascendeel the mountain with :1\lose8, "they saw 
God; anel when thel had seen Goel, they ate uncI drank."t 
Thus with them what the sight of the Suprenle Being height- 
ened was the apl)etite for food. 
The Jews have nlaintained their peculiarity to this day. 
Their principle, their God, is the lTIOst practical principle in 
the world,-nanlely, egoism: and moreover egoislll in the forn1 
of religion. Egoism is the God who will not let his servants 
conle to shame. Egoism is essentially nlonotheistic, fOl
 it has 
only one, only self, as its end. Egoism strengthens cohesion, 
concentrates mun on himself, gives hÜn a consistent principle 
of life; but it makes hinl theoretically narrow, because in- 
different to all which does not relate to'the well-being of self. 
Hence science, like art, arises only out of polytheism, for 
polytheism is the frank, open, unenvying sense of all that is 
beautiful anù good without distinction, the sense of the world, 
of the universe. The Greeks looked abroad into the wide 


* Exod. xvi. 12. t Gen. xxviii. 20. 
t Exod. xxiv. 10, 11. "Tantum abest ut mOl'tui sint, ut contra convivium 
hilares celebral'int."-Clericus. 



114 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


,vorld that they might extend their sphere of vision; the Jews 
to this day. pray with their faees turned towards J erusalelll. 
In the Israelites, monotheistic egoism excluded the free 
theoretic tendency. Solol11on, it is true, surpassed "all 
the children of the east" in understanding and wisdonl, antI 
spoke (treated, agebat) moreover "of trees, froln the cedar that 
is in Lebanon, even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the 
wall," and also of "l)easts and of fowl, and of creeping things, 
and of fishes" (1 Kings iv. 30, 3.1). But it Inust be a(lc1ed 
that Solomon did not serve Jehovah with his whole heart; he 
did homage to strange gods and strange women; and thus he 
had the polytheistic sentÏ1nent and taste. The polytheistic 
sentiment, I repeat, is the foundation of science and art. 
The significance which nature in general had for the He brews 
is one with their idea of its origin. The mode in which the genesis 
of a thing is eXplained is the candid expression of opinion, of sen- 
timent respecting it. If it be thought meanly of, so also is its 
origin. 
Ien used to suppose that insects, vern1Ïn, sprang from 
carrion, and other rubbish. It was not because they derived 
vermin from so uninviting a source, tbat they thought con- 
telllptuously of thelll; but, on the contrary, because they 
thought thus, because the nature of vermin appeared to thelll 
so vile, they imagined an origin corresponding to this nature, a 
vile origin. To the Jews Nature was a Inere llleans towards 
achieving the end of egoisln, a mere object of will. But the 
ideal, the idol of the egoistic will is that \Yill which has un- 
limited cOlnmand, which requires no means in order to attain 
its end, to realize its object, which iInmediately ùy itself, i. e., 
by pure will, calls into existence whatever it pleases. It pains 
the egoist that the satisfaction of his wishes and need is only 
to be attained inllllec1iately, that for hiln there is a chasIn 
between the wish and its reàlization, between thè object in the 
imagination and the object in reality. Hence, in order to 
relieve this pain, to Inake himself free from the limits of reality, 
he supposes as the true, the highest being, one who brings 
forth an object ùy the mere I 'VILL. For this reason, Nature, 
the world, was to the Hebrews the product of a dictatorial 
word, of a categorical imperative, of a magic fiat. 
To that which has no essential existence for llle in theor)T, 
I assign no theoretic, no positive ground. By referring it to 
'Vill I only enforce its theoretic nullity. "\Vhat we despise we 
do not honour with a glance: that which is observed has Ï1n- 



THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CREATION. ] 15 


portance: contenlplation is respect. 'Yhatever is looked at 
fetters by secret forces of attraction, overpowers, by the spell 
which it exercises upon the eye, the crÏlninal arrogance of that 
\Yill which seeks only to subject all things to itself. 'Yhat- 
ever makes nn inlpression on the theoretic sense, on the rea- 
son, withdraws itself from the dominion of the egoistic 'Vill: it 
reacts, it presents resistance. That which devastating egoism 
devotes to death, benignant theory restores to life. 
The much-belied doctrine of the heathen philosophers con- 
cerning the eternity of matter, or the world, thus implies 
nothing more than that Nature was to them a theoretic reality. 
 
The heathens 'were idolaters, that is, they conten11)lated Nature; 
they did nothing else than what the profoundly Ohristian 
nations do at this day, when they make nature an object of 
their admiration, of their indefatigable investigation. " But 
the heathens actually worshipped natural objects." Certainly; 
for worship is only the childish, the religious fotm of contem- 
plation. Contemplation and worship are not essentially dis- 
tinguished. That which I contemplate I humble myself before, 
I consecrate to it my noblest possession, my heart, my intel- 
ligence, as an offering. The natural philosopher also falls on 
his knees before Nature when, at the risk of his life, he snatches 
from SOlne precipice a lichen, an insect, or a stone, to glorify it 
in the light of contemplation, and give it an eternal existence 
in the nleIUory of scientific humanity. The study of Nature is 
the worship of Nature-idolatry in the sense of the Israelitish 
and Christian God; and idolatry is simply lnan's prin1Ìtive 
contemplation of nature; for religion is nothing else than Iuan's 
primitive and therefore childish, popular, but prejudiced, un- 
emancipated consciousness of himself and of Nature. The 
Hebrews, on the other hand, raised thenlselves fron} the wor- 
ship of idols to the worship of God, from the creature to the 
Creator; i. e., they raised thelllselves frolll the theoretic view of 
Nature, which fascinated the idolaters, to the purely practical 
view which subjects Nature only to the ends of egoislll. "And 
lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest 
the sun, the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, 


* It is well known, however, that their opinions on this point were various. 
(See e. g. Aristoteles de Cælo,1. i. c. 10.)' But their difference is a subordi- 
nate one, since the creative agency itself is with them a more or less cosmical 
being. 



116 


THE ESSENCE OF CHIUSTIANITY. 


shouldst be driven to worship them and serve them, which the 
Lord thy God hath divided unto [i. e., bestowed upon, largitus 
est] all nations under the whole heaven."* Thus, the creation 
out of nothing,i. e., the creation as a purely imperious act, had 
its origin only in the unfathomable depth of Hebrew egoism. 
On this ground, also, the creation out of nothing is no object 
of philosophy ;-at least in any other way than it is so here;- 
for it cuts away the root of all true speculation, presents no 
grappling-point to thought, to theory; theoretically considered, 
it is a Laseless air-built doctrine, which originated solely in the 
need to give a warrant to utilism, to egoism, which contains 
and expresses nothing but the command to make N ature- 
not an object of thought, of contemplation, but-an object 
of utilization. The more empty it is, however, for natural 
philosophy, the more profound is its" speculative" significance; 
for just because it has no theoretic fulcrum, it allows to the 
speculatist infinite room for the play of arbitrary, groundless 
interpretation. 
I t is in the history of doglna and speculation as in the history 
of states. 'V orId-old usages, laws, and institutions, continue to 
drag out their existence long after they have lost their true 
meaning. 'Vhat has once existed will not be denied the right 
to exist for ever; what was once good, claims to be good for 
all times. At this period of superannuation come the inter- 
l)1'eters, the speculatists, and talk of the profound sense, because 
they no longer know the true one. t Thus, religious specula- 
tion deals with the dogmas, torn from the connexion in which 
alone they have any true meaning; instead of tracing them 
back critically to their true origin, it makes the secondary 
l)rirrlÌtive, and the prÏ1nitive secondary. To it God is the first; 
man the second. Thus it inverts the natural order of things! 
In reality, the first is rnan, the second the nature of nlan nUìde 
objectivè, namely, God. Only in later times, in which religion is 


:I: Deut. iv. 19.-" Licet enim ea, quæ sunt in cælo, non sint hominum ar- 
tificia, at hominum tamell gratia condita fuerunt. N e quis igitur solem 
adoret, sed solis effectorcm de
idcret."-Clemens Alex. (Coh. ad Gentes). 
t But of course they only do this in the case of the" absolute religion;" 
for with regard to other religions they hold up the ideas and customs which 
are foreign to us, and of which we do not know the original meaning and 
vurpose, as senseless and ludicrous. And Jet, in fact, to worship the urine 
of cows, which the Parsees and Hindoos drink that they may obtain 
forgiveness of sins, is not more ludicrous than to worship the comb or a 
shred of the garment of the l\lother of God. 



THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CREATION. ]] 7 


already become flesh and blood, can it be said-as God is, so is 
man: although, indeed, thi
 proposition never a1nounts to any- 
thing more than tautology. But in the origin of religion it is 
otherwise; and it is only in the origin of a thing that we can 
discern its true nature. l\Ian first unconsciously and involun- 
taril y creates God in his own image, and after. this God con- 
sciously and voluntarily creates Iuan in his own Ï1nage. This 
is especially confirmed by the development of the Israelitish 
religion. Hence the position of theological one-sidedness, that 
the revelation of God holds an even pace with the development 
of the human race. Naturally; for the revelation of God is 
nothing else than the revelation, the Relf-unfolding of human 
nature. The supranaturalistlc egoism of the Jews did not 
proceed from the Creator, but conversely, the latter froln the 
fOl'l11er; in the creation the Israelite justified his egoism at 
the bar of bis reason. 
It is true, and it may be readily understood on simply prac- 
tical grounds, that even the Israelite could not, as a man, 
withdraw hÍlnself from the theoretic contemplation and adnÜ- 
ration of Nature. 13ut in celebrating the power and greatnes
 
of X ature, he celebrates only the power and greatness of J e- 
hovah. And tbe power of Jehovah has exhibited itself with 
the 1110St glory, in the n1Ìracles which it has wrought in favour 
of Israel. Hence, in the celebration of this power the Israelite 
has always reference ultÜnately to himself; he extols the great- 
ness of Nature only for the same reason that the conqueror 
11lagnifies tbe strength of his opponent, in order thereby to 
heighten his own self-coIllplacency, to make his own faIlle more 
illustrious. Great and mighty is Nature, which Jehovah hag 
created, but yet mightier, yèt greater, is Israël's self-estimation. 
For his sake the sun stands still; for his sake, according to 
Philo, the earth quaked at the delivery of the law; in short, 
for his sake all nature alters its course. "For the whole crea- 
ture in his proper kind, was fashioned again anew, serving the 
peculiar c0111mandments that were given unto them, that thy 
children might be kept without hurt."* According to Philo, 
God gave ßIoses power over the whole of Nature; all the 
elements obeyed him as the Lord of Nature. t Israel's require- 
ment is the oIllnipotent law of the world, Israel's need the fate 
of the universe. Jehovah is Israel's consciousness of the 


* Wisd. xix. 6. 


t See Gfrörer's Philo. 



118 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


sacredness and necessity of his own existence,-a necessity 
before which the existence of Nature, the existence of other 
nations vanishes into nothing; Jehovah is the salus populi, 
the salvation of Israel, to which everything that stands in its 
way must be sacrificed ; Jehovah is exclusive, monarchical 
arrogance, the annihilating flash of anger in the vindictive 
glance of destroying Israel; in a word, Jehovah is the ego of 
Israel, which regards itself as the end and aim, the Lord of 
Nature. Thus, in the power of Nature the Israelite celebrates 
the powèr of Jehovah, and in the power of Jehovah the power 
of his own self-consciousness. "Blessed be God! God is our 
help, God is our salvation."-" Jehovah is my strength."- 
H God himself hearkened to the word of Joshua, for Jehovah 
himself fought for Israel."-" Jehovah is a God of war:' 
If, in the eourse of time, the idea of Jehovah expanded itself 
in individual minds, and his love was extended, as by the 
writer of the book of Jonah, to man in general, this does not 
belong to the essential character of the Israelitish religion. 
The God of the fathers, to whom the most precious recollec- 
tions are attached, the ancient historical God, remains always 
the foundation of a religion. * 


* We nlay here observe, that certainly the admiration of the power and 
glory of God in general, and so of Jehovah, as manifested in Nature, is in 
fact, though not in the consciousness of the Israelite, only admiration of the 
power and glory of Nature. (See, on this subject, P. Bayle, Ein 
Beitrag, g,oc., p. 25-29.) But to prove this formally lies out of our 
plan, since we here confine ourselves to Christianity, i. e., the adoration of 
God in man (Deum colimus per Christum. Tertullian. Apolog. c. 21). 
Nevertheless, the principle of this proof is stated in the present work. 



THE l\IYSTERY OF PRAYER. 


119 


OR.APTER XII. 


THE 01\IKIPOTENCE OF FEELING, OR THE J\IYSTERY 
OF PRAYER. 


I SRAEL is the historical definition of the specific nature of the 
religious consciousness, save only that here this consciousness 
,vas circumscribed by the limits of a particular, a national in- 
terest. Hence, we need only let these lin1Ìts fall, and we 
have the Christian religion. Judaism is worldly Christianity; 
Christianity, spiritual J ndaism. The Christian religion is the 
Jewish religion purified from national egoism, and yet at the 
sanle tin1e it is certainly another, a new religion; for every 
reformation, every purification, produces-especially in religious 
matters, where even the trivial becomes important-an essen- 
tial change. To the Jew, the Israelite was the mediator, the 
bond between God and man; in his relation to Jehovah he 
relied on his character of Israelite; Jehovah himself was 
nothing else than the self-consciousness of Israel made 
objective as the absolute l)eing, the national conscience, 
the universal law, the central póint of the political system.* 
If we let fall the limits of nationality, we obtain-instead of 
the Israelite-nzan. As in Jehovah the Israelite personified 
his national existence, so in God the Christian personified his 
subjective human nature, freed from the limits of nationality. 
As Israel made the wants of his national existence the law of 
the world, as, under the dominance of these wants, he deified 
even his political vindi ctiveness: so the Christian made the 
requirements of hUlllan feeling the absolute powers and laws of 
the world. The miracles of Christianity, which belong just as 
essentially to its characterization, as the miracles of the Old 
Testmnent to that of Judaism, have not the welfare of a nation 
for their object, but the .welfare of man :-that is, indeed, only 
of nlan considered as Christian; for Christianity, in contra- 


* U The greater part of Hebrew poetry, which is often held to be only 
spiritual, is political."-Herdel'. 



120 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


diction with the genuine universal human heart, recognised 
man only under the condition, the limitation, of belief in 
Christ. But this fatal limitation will be discussed further 
on. Christianity has spiritualised the egoislIl of J udaisnl into 
subjectivity (though even within Christianity this subjectivity 
is again expressed as pure egoislll), has changed the desire for 
earthly happiness, the goal of the Israelitish religion, into the 
longing for heavenly bliss, which is the goal of Christianity. 
The highest idea, the God of a political comlllunity, of a 
people whose political system expresses itself in the fornl of 
religion, is Law, the consciousness of the law as an abso- 
lute dIvine power; the highest idea, the God of unpolitical, 
unworldly feeling is Love; the love which brings all the 
treasures and glories in heaven and upon earth as an offering 
to the beloved, the love whose law is the wish of the beloved 
one, and whose power is the unlimited power of the Ílllagination, 
of intellectual miracle-working. 
God is the Love that satisfies our wishes, our emotional 
wants; he is himself the realized wish of the heart, the 
wish exalted to the certainty of its fulfilment, of its reality, 
to that undoubting certainty before which no contradiction of 
the understanding, no difficulty of experience or of the ex- 
ternal world nlaintains its ground. Certainty is the highest 
power for man; that which is certain to hinl is the essential, 
the divine. "God is love:" thi
, the SnpreIlle dictum of Chris- 
tianity, only expresses the certainty which human feeling has 
of itself, as the alone essential, i.e., absolute divine power, 
the certainty that the inlllost wishes of the heart have objective 
validity and reality, that there are no lÜnits, no positive 
obstacles to human feeling, that the whole world, with all its 
pomp and glory, is not.hing weighed against hUlnan feeling. 
God is love: that is, feeling is the God of nlan, nay, God 
absolutely, the Absolute Being. God is the nature of hll111an 
feeling, unlimited, pure feeling, lllade objective. God is the 
optative of the human heart transformed into the tempus 
fin itU71
, the celtain, blissful" IS," -the unrestricted omnipotence 
of feeling, prayer hearing itself, feeling perceiving itself, the 
echo of our cry of anguish. Pain must give itself utterance; 
involuntarily the artist seizes the lute, that he may breathe out 
his sufferings in its tones. He soothes his sorrow by making 
it audible to himself, by making it objective; he lightens the 
burden which weighs upon his heart, by communicating 



THE 1tIYSTERY OF PRAYER. 


121 


it to the air, by l11aking his sorrow a general existence. TIut 
nature listens not to the plaints of nlan, it is callous to his 
sorrows. Hence n1an turns away frOl11 N atnre, from all visible 
01Jjects. He turns within, that here, shelterecl and hidden 
from the inexorable powers, he may find audience for his 
griefs. Here he utters his oppressive secrets; here he gives 
vent to his stifled sighs. This open-air of the heart, this 
out
poken secret, this uttered sorrow of the soul, is God. 
God is a tear of loye, shed in the deepest conceahnent, over 
lnunan l11isery. "God is an unutteraùle sigh, lying in the 
depths of the heart;" * this saying is the l110st remarkable, 
the profoundest, truest expression of Christian In-ysticisnl. 
The ultÎInate essence of religion is revealed by the simplest 
act of religion-In'ayer; an act which implies at least as l11uch 
as the ùogma of the Incarnation, although religious specula- 
tion stand
 aInazecl at this, as the greatest of mysteries. Not, 
certainly, the prayer before and after meals, the ritual of 
animal egoism, but the prayer pregnant with sorrow, the prayer 
of disconsolate love, the prayer which expresses the power of 
the heart that crushes nlan to the ground, the prayer which 
begins in despair and ends in rapture. 
In prayer, man addresses God with the word of intimate 
affection- Tholl; he thus declares articulately that God is 
his alter ego; he confesses to God as the being nearest to hil11, 
his most secret thoughts, his deepest wishes, which otherwise 
he shrinks froln uttering. But he expresses these wishes in 
the confidence, in the certainty that they will be fulfilled. 
How could he apply to a being that had no ear for his COl11- 
plaints? Thus what is prayer ùut the wish of the heart 
expressed with confidence in its fulfihnent? t what else is the 


* Sebastian Frank von vVörd in ZinkgrefsApophthegmata deutscher Nation. 
t It would be an imbecile objection, to say that God fulfils only those 
wishes, those prayers, which are uttered in his name, or in the intere
t of 
the church of Christ, in short, only the wishes which are accordant with 
his will; for the will of God is the will of man, or rather God has the 
power, man the will: God makes mf'n happy, but man wills that he may 
be happy. A particular wish may not be granted; but that is of no con- 
sequence, if only the r-;pecies, the essential tendency is accepted. The piou
 
soul whose prayer has failed, consoles himself, therefore, by thinking that its 
fulfilment would not have been salutary for him. "N ullo igitur modo vota 
aut preces sunt irritæ aut infrugiferæ et recte dicitur, in petitione rerum 
corporalium aliquando Deum exaudire nos, non ad voluntatem nostram, 
sed ad salutem."-Oratio de Precatione, in Dechtnlat. l\Ielancthonis, T. ili. 
a 



122 


THE ESSEXCE OF CHRISTIAKITY. 


being that fulfils these wishes but lunnnn affection, the human 
soul, giving ear to itself, approving itself, unhesitatingly affirm- 
ing itself? The man who does not exclude fronl his lnind the 
idea of the world, the idea that everything here must he sought 
intermediately, that every effect has its natural CHuse, that a 
.wish is only to be attained when it is made an end and the 
corresponcli;lg llleans are put into operation-such a man does 
not pray: he only works; he transfonns his attainable wishes 
into objects of real autivity; other wishes which he recoguises 
as purely subjective, he denies, or regards as sÍ1nply subjective, 
pious aspirations. In other words, he limits, he conditionates his 
being by the world, as a lli81nber of which he conceives hiIn- 
self; he bounds his wishes by the idea of necessity. In prayer, 
on the contrary, man excludes frmn his mind the world, and 
with it all thoughts of internlediateness and dependence; he 
lnakes his wishes-the concerns of his heart, objects of the 
independent, Ollluipotent, absolute being, i.e., he affirnls them 
váthout lin1Ïtation. God is the affinnation * of lnunan feeling; 
prayer is the unconditional confidence of human feeling in 
the ahsolute identity of the subjective ancl objective, the 
certninty that the power of the heart is greater than the power 
of K ature, that the heart's neecl is absolute necessity, the Fate 
of the world. Prayer alters the course of Nature; it detennines 
Goel to bring forth an effect in contracliction with the laws of 
Nature. Prayer is the absolute relation of the hUnlaIl heart to 
itself, to its own nature; in prayer, man forgets that there 
exists a lÍInit to his wishes, and is happy in this forgetfulness. 
Prayer is the self-division of man into two beings,-a dialogue 
of lnan ,vith himself, with his heart. It is essential to the 
effectiveness of prayer that it be audibly, intelligibly, energeti- 
cally expressed. Involuntarily prayer wells forth in sound; 
the struggling heart bursts the barrier of the closed lips. But 
audihle prayer is only prayer revealing its nature; prayer is 
virtually, if not actually, speech,-the Latin word oratio sig- 
nifie,; both; in prayer, nlnn speaks undisguisedly of that which 
weighs upon hÍIll, which affects hÜn closely; he makes his 
heart o
jective ;-henoe the moral po,ver of lwayer. Conoen
 
tration, it is said, is the condition of prayer: but it Ü, nlore 
than a condition; prayer is itself concentration,-the disn1Íssal 
of all distracting ideas, of all disturbing influences from with- 


:if: J a-wort. 



THE MYSTERY OF PRAYER. 


123 


out, retirement "within oneself, in order to have relation only 
with one's own being. qnly a trusting, open, hearty, fervent 
prayer is said to help; but this help lie
 in the prayer itself. 
As everywhere in religion the subjective, the secondary, the con- 
ditíonating, is the priJna causa, the ohjective fact; f;0 here, these 
subjective qualities are the objective nature of prayer itself. * 
It is an extremely sUllerficial view of prayer to regard it fiS 
an expression of the sense of dependence. It certainly ex- 
pre
ses such a sense, but the dependence is that of luan on his 
own heart, on his own feeling. He who feels hinlself only 
dependent, does not open his mouth in prayer; the sense of 
dependence r01s him of the desire, the courage for it; for the 
sense of dependence is the sense of need. Prayer has its root 
rather in the unconditional trust of the heart, untroubled hy 
all thought of compulsive need, that its concerns are 01)jects 
of the absolute Being, thnt the ahnighty, infinite nature of 
the Father of men, is a synlpathetic, tender, loving natnre, and 
that thus the dearest, 1110st sacred eIllotions of Iuan nre divine 
realities. But the child does not feel itself dependent on the 
father as a father; rather, he has in the father the feeling of 
his own strength, the consciousness of his own worth, the 
guarantee of his existence, the certainty of the fulfilment of 
his wishes; on the father rests the burden of care; the child, 
on the contrary, lives càreless and happy in reliance on the 
father, his visible guardian spirit, who desires nothing but the 
child's welfare and happiness. The father makes the child an 
end, and hiulself the means of its existence. The child, in 
asking something of its father, does not apply to hiul as a 
being distinct froln itself, a Inaster, a person in general, but 
it applies to him in so far as he is dependent on, and determined 
by his paternal feeling, his love for his child.t The entreaty is 


* Also, on subjective grounds, social prayer is n10re effectual than 
isolated prayer. Community enhances the force of emotion, heightens 
confidence. \Vhat we are unable to do alone, we are able to do with others. 
The sense of solitude is the sense of limitation: the sense of community is 
the sen
e of freedom. lIenee it is that men, when threatened by the de. 
structive powers of nature, crowd together. " l\Il
ltorum preces impossibile 
est, ut non impetrent, inquit Ambrosius. . . . . Sanctæ orationis fervor quanta 
inter plm'es collectior tanto ardet diutius ac intensius cor divinum penetrat 
. . . . . Negatur singularitati, quod conceditur charitati."-Sacra Hist., 
de Gentis Hebr. ortu. P. Paul. :l\Iezger. Aug. Vind. 1700, pp. 668, 6G9. 
t In the excellent work, Theant1tropos, eine Reihe von Apho'J'ismen 
(Zurich, 1838), the idea of the sense of dependence, of omnipotence, of 
prayer, and of love, is admh"ably developed. 
G 2 



12.t 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


only an expression of the force which the child exercises over 
the father; if, indeed, the word force is appropriate here, since 
the force of the child is nothing 1110re than the force of the 
father's own heart. Speech has the saIne fonn both for entreaty 
and command, nm11ely, the Ï111perative. And the imperative 
of love has infinitely Jnore power than that of despotis111. 
Love does not com111and; love needs but gently to intinlate 
its wishes, to l)e certain of their fulfilnlent; the despot must 
throw cOl1lpulsion even into the tones of his voice in order to 
make other beings, in tlJernselves uncaring for hÜl1, the execu- 
tors of his wishes. The imperative of love works with electro- 
l11agnetic power; that of despotism with the mechanical power of 
a wooden telegraph. The most intimate epitlJet of God in prayer 
is the word ":Father," the 1110st intinlate, because in it J11an 
is in relation to the absolute nature as to his own; the word 
Father is the expression of the closest, the most intense identity, 
-the expression in which lies the pledge that l11Y wishes will 
be fulfilled, the guarantee of my salvation. The omnipotence 
to which lllan turns in prayer is nothing but the Onlnil)otence 
of Goodness, which, for the sake of the salvation of l1lan, 
l11akes the impossible possible ;-is, in truth, nothing else than 
the onlnipotence of the heart, of feeling, which breaks through 
all the limits of the unclerbtanding, which soars above (\11 the 
boundaries ofN ature, which wills that there be nothing else than 
feeling, nothing that contradicts the heart. Faith in ol1lnipo- 
tence is faith in the unreality of the external world, of objec- 
tivity,-faith in the absolute reality of man's emotional nature: 
the essence of omnipotence is sinlply the essence of feeling. 
Omnipotence is the power before which no law, no external 
condition, avails or subsists; but this power is the emo- 
tional nature, which feels every determination, every law, to be 
a limit, a restraint, and for that reason disn1Ìsses it. Omni- 
potence does nothing more than accomplish the win of the 
feelings. In prayer Jnau turns to the OInnipotence of Good- 
ness ;-which sÌ111ply means, that in prayer man adores his 
own heart, regarùs his own feelings as absolute. 



THE 
IYSTERY OF FAITH. 


125 


CHAPTER XIII. 


THE l\IYSTERY OF FAITH-THE :MYSTERY OF :MIRACLE. 


FAITH in the power of prayer-ancl only where a power, an 
objective power, is asùribed to it, is prayer still a religious 
truth,-is identical with faith in n1Ïraculous power; and 
faith in miracles is identical with the essence of faith in 
general. Faith alone prays; the prayer of faith is alone 
effectual. But faith is nothing else than confhlence in the 
reality of the subjective in opposition to the limitationb or 
laws of nature and reason,-that is, of natural reason. The 
specific object of faith therefore is miracle; faith is the belief 
in miracle; faith and nliracle are absolutely inseparable. That 
which is ol
jectively nlÎracle, or miraculous power, is subjec- 
tively faith; miracle is the outward aspect of faith, faith the 
inward soul of nlÌracle; faith is the n1Ïracle of 111ind, the miracle 
of feeling, which merely be('onles objective in external miracles. 
To faith nothing is Ìll1possible, andllliracle only gives actuality 
to this onlnipotence of faith: miracles are but a visible ex- 
ample of what faith can effect. Unlimitedness, supernaturalness, 
exaltation of feeling,-transcendence is therefore the essence 
of faith. Faith has reference only to things which, in con- 
tradiction with the limits or laws of Nature anlI reason, 
give objective reality to }nunan feelings and human desires. 
Faith unfetters the wishes of subjectiyity froll1 the bonds of 
natural reasou; it confers what nature and reason deny; hence 
it nutkes man happy, for it satisfies his nlost personal wishes. 
And true faith is discon1posed by no doubt. Doubt arises only 
where I go out of Inyself, overstep the bounds of my personality, 
concede reality and a right of suffi'age to that which is distinct 
fi'om 111YSelf ;-where I know lllyself to be a subjective, i,e., a 
limited being, and seek to widen U1Y lÜnits by adlnittiug things 
external to myself. But in faith the very principle of doubt is 
annulled; for to faith the subjective is in and by itself the 
objective-nay, the absolute. Faith is nothing else than belief 
in the absolute reality of subjectivity. 



126 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


"Faith is that courage in the heart which trusts fOf all good 
to Goel. Such a faith, in which the heart places its reliance 
on God alone, is enjoined by God in the first commandment, 
where he says, I anl the Lord thy God. . . . . That is, I alone 
,vil1 be thy God, thou shalt seek no other Goel; I will help 
thee out of all trouble. Thou shalt not think tlutt I aIll an 
el1enlY to thee, and will not help thee. \Vhen thou thinkest 
so, thou makest me in thine heart into another God than I 
mn. \Vherefore hold it for certain that I am willing to be 
merciful to thee."-" As thou behavest thyself, so does God 
behave. If thou thinkest that he is angry with thee, He is 
angry; if thou thinkest that He is ulllllerciful, anel will cast 
thee into hell, He is so. -,-
s thou believest of God, so is 
He to thee."-" If thou believest it, thou hast it; but if thou 
believest not, thou hast none of it."-" Therefore, as we be- 
lieve, so does it happen to us. If we regard him as our God, 
He will not be our devil. But if we regard him not as our 
God, then truly he is not our God, but lllust be a consuming 
fire." -" B y unbelief we Inake Goel a devil." * Thus, if I believe in 
a God, I have a God, i. e., faith in God is the God of man. If 
God is such, whatever it nuty be, as I believe HiIn, what else is 
the nature of Goel than the nature of faith? Is it possible for 
thee to believe in a God who regards thee favourably, if thou 
clost not regnrd thyself favourably, if thou despairest of man, 
if he is nothing to thee? \Vhat else then is the being of God 
but the being of n1an, the absolute self-love of man? If thou 
believest that God is for thee, thou believest that nothing is or 
can he against thee, that nothing contradicts thee. But if 
thou believest that nothing is or can be against thee, thou be- 
lievest-what ?-nothil1g less than that thon art God.t That 
God is another being is only illusion, only iInagination. In 
declaring that God is for thee, thou declarest that he is thy 
own being. \Vhat then is f
lÎth hut the infinite self-èertainty 
of lIlan, the undoubting certainty that his o"-Tn subjective being 
is the -objective, absolute being, the being of beings? 


* Luther (T. xv. p. 282. T. xvi. pp, 491-493). 
t "God is Almighty; but he who believes, is a God." Luther 
(in Chr. l{apps ChJ'istus 'll, die 1Veltgescltichte, s. 11). In another place 
lJUther call
 faith the "Creator of the Godhead;" it is true that he 
immediately adùs, as he must necessarily do on his stallù.point, the 
(ollowing limitation :-" Not that it creates anything- in the divine, eternal 
Being, but that it creates that Being in us." (T. xi. p. 161.) 



. 


THE MYSTERY OF FAITH. 


127 


}-'aith does not lilnit itself by the idea of a worlù, a universe, 
a necessity. 
For faith there is nothing but God, i.e., lin1Ïtless 
subjectivity. \Yhere faith rises the world sinks, nay, has 
already sunk into nothing. Faith in the real annihilation of 
the world-in an inlmediately approaching, a Inentally present 
annihilation of this world, a worlel antagonistic to the wishes 
of the Christian, is therefore a phenomenon belonging to the 
inmost essence of Christianity; a faith whieh is not properly 
separable from the other elements of Christian belief, and with 
the renunciation of which, true, positive Christianity is 
renounced and denied.* The essence of faith, as nlav be 
confinned by fin exan1Ïnation of its objects down to 
 the 
minutest speciality, is the idea that that which Ilian wishe
 
actuall y is: he wishes to be Ï1nmortal, therefore he is 
immortal; he wishes for the existence of a being who can 
do everything which is Ï1npossible to Nature and reason, 
therefore such a being exists; he wishes for a world w hil' h 
corresponds to the desires of the heart, a world of unlimited 
subjectivity, i.e., of unperturbed feeling, of uninterrupted bliss, 
while nevertheless there exists a world the opposite of that 
subjective one, and hence this world must pass away,- 
as necessarily pass away as God, or absolute subjectivity, 
must remain. Faith, love, hope, are the Ohristian Trinity. 
Hope has relation to the fulfilment of the pron1Ïses, the wishes 
which are not yet fulfilled, but whÜ'h fire to be fulfilled; love 
has relation to
 the Being who gives and fulfils these prolnises ; 
faith to the promises, the wishes, which are already fulfilled, 
which are historical facts. 
l\Iiracle is an essential object of Christianity, an essential 


* This belief is so essential to the Bible, that without it the biblical 
writers can scarcely be understood. The passage, 2 Pet. iii. 8, as is 
evident from the tenor of the whole chapter, says nothing in opposition to 
an immediate destruction of the world; for though with the Lord a thou- 
sand years are as one day, yet at the same time one day is as a thousand 
years, anù therefore the world may, even by to-morrow, no longer exist. 
That in the Bible a very near end of the world is expecteù anù prophe
ied, 
although the day and hour are not determined, only falsehood or blindness 
can deny.-See on this subject LÜl::elberger. Hence religious Christians, 
in almost all times, have believed that the destruction of the world is near 
at hand-Luther, for example, often says that" the last day is not fàx off," 
(e. g. T. xvi. p, 26) ;-or at least their souls have longed for the end of 
the world, though they have prudently left it undecided whether it be near 
or distant. See Augustin (de :Fine Sæculi ad He
ychium, c. 13). 



128 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


article of faith. But what is miracle? A supranatllralistic 
wish realized-nothing more. The apostle Paul illustrates the 
nature of Christian faith by the example of ....\.brahmn. Abrahmn 
could not, in a natural way, ever hope for posterity; Jehovah 
nevertheless pron1Ïsed it to hÜn out of special fayour; and 
Abraham belieyed in spite of Nature. Hence this faith was 
reckoned to hÏIn as righteousness, as merit; for it implies 
great force of subjectivity to accept as certain sOlnething in 
contradiction with experience, at least with rational, nonnal 
experience. But what was the object of this divine prolnise? 
Posterity: the object of a human wish. And in what did 
Abrahaln believe when he believed in Jehovah? In a Being 
who can do eyerything, and can fulfil all wishes. "Is any- 
thing too hard for the Lord ?"* 
But why do we go so far back as to Abrahm11? 'Ve have 
the nlost stl'Ìking examples 111uch nearer to us. l\Iiracle feeds the 
hungry, cures nlen born blind, deaf, anù lame, rescues from 
fatal diseases, and even raises the dead at the prayer of rela- 
tives. Thus it satisfies lnunan wishes,-and wishes which, 
though not always intI'Ìnsically like the wish for the restoration 
of the dead, yet in so far as they appeal to miraculous power, 
to miraculous aid, are transcendental, supranaturalistic. But 
miracle is distinguished frol11 that 1110de of satisfying hUlllan 
wishes and needs which is in accordance with Nature and 
reason, in this respect, that it satisfies the wishes of ll1en in a 
way corres!)onding to the nature of wishes-in the most desir- 
able way. 'Vishes own no restraint, no law, no tÏ1ne; they 
would be fulfilled without delay on the instant. And behold! 
Iniracle is as rapid as a wish is impatient. l\Iiraculous power 
realizes lnunnn wishes in a nlolnent, at one stroke, without any 
hindrance. That the sick should become well is no n1Ìracle; 
but that they should hecorne so immediately, at a mere word of 
comlnand,-that is the mystery of lniracle. Thus it is not in 
its product or object that Iniraculous agency is distinguished 
from the agency of nature and reason, but only in its lnode 
and process; for if nlÌraculons power were to effect s01l1ething 
absolutely new, never before ùehelcl, never conceived, or not 
even conceivahle, it would be IH'acticalIy proved to be an essen- 
tially different, and at the SaIne time objective agency. But the 


* Gen. xviii. lit. 



THE :MYSTERY OF FAITH. 


129 


agenry whieh in essence, in substance, is natural find accord- 
ant with the fornls of the senses, and which is supernatural, 
snpersensunJ, only in the mode or process, is the agency of 
the inlagination. The power of n1Ïracle is therefore nothing 
else than the power of the ÏInagillation. 

Iiraculou
 agency, is agency directed to an end. The 
yearning after the departed Lazarus, the desire of his relatives 
to pos::sess hÏ1n again, ,vas the motive of the n1Ïraculous resus- 
citation; the satisfaction of this wish, the end. It is true that 
the n1Ïracle happene(l "for the glory of God, that the Son of 
God might be glorified thereby;" uut the lnessage sent to the 
l\Iaster by the bisters of Lazarus, "Behold, he wholn thou 
lovest, is sick," and the tears which Jesus shed, vindicate for 
the nliracle it human origin and end. The meaning is: to that 
power which can awaken the dead, no Inl1nan wish is inlpossible 
to accomplish, * And the glory of the Son consists in this: that 
he is acknowledged and reverenced as the being who is able to 
do what man is unable, but wishes to do. Ac:tivity towards an 
end, is well known to describe a circle: in the end it returns 
upon its beginning. But miraculous agency is distinguished 
frOln the ordinary realization of an object, in that it realizes the 
end without means, that it effects an imnlediate identity of the 
wish and its fulfilnlent; that consequently it describe
 a circle, 
not in a curved, but in a straight line, that is, the shortest line. 
A circle in a straight line is the mathematical symbol oflniracle. 
The attmnpt to construct a circle with a straight line, woulel 
not be more ridiculous than the attempt to deduce miracle 
l)hilosophically. To reason, n1Ïracle is absurd, inconceivable; 
as inconceivable as wooden iron, or a circle without a periphery. 
Before it is discussed whether a miracle can happen, let it be 
shown that miracle, i.e., the inconceivable, is conceivable. 


* "To the whole world it is impossible to raise the dead, but to the LorJ 
Christ, not only is it not impossible, but it is no trouble or labour to him. 
. . . . This Christ did as a witness and a sign, that he can and will raise 
from death. He doe8 it not at all times - and to everyone . . . . . It is 
enough that he has done it a few time::;;; the rest he leaves to the last day." 
-Luther (T. xvi. p. 518). The pORitive, essential significance of miracle 
is therefore that the divine nature is the human nature. l\Iiracles con- 
firm, authenticate doctrine. \Vhat doctrine? Simply this, that God is a 
Saviour of men, their Redeemer out of all trouble, i. e., a being corre- 
sponding to the wants and wi
hes of man, and therefore a human beinO'. 
\Vhat the God-man declares in words, miracle demonstrates ad oculos by 
deeds. 


03 



130 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


"\Vhat suggests to man the notion that miracle is conceivable 
is, that n1Ìracle is represented as an event perceptible by the 
senses, and hence Ulan cheats his reason by material images 
which screen the contradiction. The n1Ïracle of the turning of 
water into wine, for example, implies in fact nothing else than 
that water is wine,-nothing else than that two absolutely con- 
tradictory predicates or subjects are identical; for in the hand 
of the Iniracle-worker there is no distinction between the two 
substances; the transformation is only the visible appearance 
of this identity of two contradictories. But the transformation 
conceals the contradiction, because the natural conception of 
change is interposed. Here, however, is no gradual, no natural, 
or, so to speak, organic change; but an absolute, immaterial 
one; a pure creatio ex nihilo. In the nlysterious and mo- 
mentous act of llliraculous power, in the act which constitutes 
the miracle, water is suddenly and iml)erceptibly wine: which 
is equivalent to saying that iron is wood, or wooden iron. 
The miraculous act-and miracle is only a transient act-is 
therefore not an object of thought, for it nullifies the very 
lu'inciple of thought; but it is just as little an object of sense, 
an object of real or even possiLle experience. vVater is indeed 
an object of sense, and wine also; I first see water, and then 
wine; but the miracle itself, that which nlakes this water 
suddenly wine,-this, not being a natural process, but a pure 
perfect without any antecedent imperfect, without any 'modus, 
without ,yay 01' nleans, is no object of real, or even of possible 
experience. l\Iiracle is a thing of the inlagination; and on that 
yery account is it so agreeable: for the i1uagination is the 
faculty which alone corresponds to personal feeling, because it 
sets aside alllin1Ïts
 all laws which are painful to the feelings, 
and thus makes objective to man the Ï1nmediate, absolutely 
unlÜniteù satisfaction of his subjective wishes.* Accordance 
with subjective inclination, is the essential characteristic of 
miracle. I t is true that miracle produces also an awful, 
agitating impression, so far as it expresses a power which 
nothing can resist,-the power of the imagination. But this 
impression lies only in the transient miraculous act; the abiding, 


* This satisfaction is certainly so far limited, that it is united to religion, 
to faith in God: a remark which however is so obvious as to be super- 
fluous. But this limitation is in fact 110 limitation, for God himself is 
unlimited, absolutely satisfied, self-contented human feeling. 



, THE MYSTERY OF FAITH. 


131 


essential impression is the agreeable one. At the InolnCllÌ in 
which the ueloved Lazarus is raised up, the surrounding rela- 
tives and fi.'Ïends are awe-struck at the extraordinary, aln1Ïgllty 
power which transfonns the dead into the living; but soon the 
relatives fall into the anns of the risen one, and leacl hÜn with 
tears of joy to his home, there to celebrate a festival of rejoicing. 
l\liracle springs out of feeling, and has its end in feeling. 
Even in the traditional representation it does not deny its origin; 
the representation which gratifies the feelings is alone the ade- 
quate one. 'Vho can fail to recognise in the nalTative of the 
resurrection of Lazarus, the tender, pleasing, legendury tone?* 
1Iiracle is agreeable, because, as has been said, it satisfies the 
wishes of man without labour, without effort. Labollr is unim- 
passioned, unbelieving, rationalistic; for man here makes his 
existence dependent on activity directed to an end, which acti- 
vity again is itself detennined solely by the idea of the objective 
world. But feeling does not at all trouble itself about the 
objective world; it does not go out of 01' beyond itself; it is 
happy in itself. The elen1ent of culture, the northern principle 
of self-renunciation, is wanting to the emotional nature. The 
Apostles and Evangelists were no scientifically cultivated men. 
Culture, in general, is nothing else than the exaltation of the 
individual above his subjectivity to objective universal ideas, to 
the contemplation of the world. The Apostles were men of the 
people; the people live only in thmnselves, in their feelings: 
therefore Christianity took possession of the people. Vox 
populi 'Cox Dei. Did Christianity conquer a single philosopher, 
historian, 01' poet, of the classical l)el'Ïod? The philosophers 
who went over to Christianity were feeble, contelnptible philo- 
sophers. All who had yet the classic spirit in then1 were 
hostile, or at least indifferent to Christianity. The decline of 
culture was identical with the victory of Christianity. The 
classic spirit, the spirit of culture, limits itself by laws,-not 
indeed by arbitrary, finite laws, but by inherently true and valid 
ones; it is determined by the necessity, the truth of the nature 
of things; in a word, it is the objective spirit. In place of this, 


:!(c The legends of Catholicism-of course only the best, the really 
pleasing ones-are, as it were, only the echo of the key-note which 
predominates in this New Testament narrative. .l\Iiracle Inight be fitly 
defined as religious humour. CatholicÏ8m especially has developed miracle 
on this its humorous side. 



132 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


there entered with Christianity the principle of unlin1Ïted, 
extravagant, fanatical, supranaturalistic subjectivity; a prin- 
ciple intrinsically opposed to that of science, of culture.* \Vith 
Christianity nlan lost the capability of conceiving hiIuself as a 
part of Nature, of the universe. As long as true, unfeigned, un- 
falsified, uncolupromising Christianity existed, as long as Chris- 
tianity was a living, practical truth, so long did real miracles 
happen; and they necessarily happened, for faith in dead, 
historical, past miracles is itself a dead faith, the first step 
towards un belief, or rather the first and therefore the tin1id, 
uncandid, servile mode in which unbelief in luiracle finds vent. 
But where Iniracles happen, all definite fOlïus melt in the golden 
haze of Ünagination and feeling; there the world, reality, is no 
truth; there the miracle-working, emotional, i. e., subjective 
being, is held to be alone the objective, real being. 
To the merely emotional In an the imagination is imluediately, 
without his willing or knowing it, the highest, the dOluinant 
activity; and being the highest, it is the activity of God, the 
creative activity. To hinl feeling is an imluediate truth and 
reality; he cannot abstract himself from his feelings, he cannot 
get beyond them: and equally real is his imagination. The 
imagination is not to hÍlu what it is to us men of active under- 
standing, who distinguish it as subjective froJu objective cog.. 
nition; it is Ílumediately identical with hÜuself, with his 
feelings, and since it is identical with hiB being, it is his 
essential, objective, necessary view of things. For us, indeed, 
imagination is an arbitrary activity; but where man has not 
Ílubibed the principle of culture, of theory, where he lives and 
moves only in his feelings, the imagination is an immediate, 
involuntary activity. 
The explanation of miracles by feeling and iluagination is 
regarded by many in the })resent day as superficial. But let 
anyone transport himself to the time when living, present 
miracles were believed in; when the reality of things without 
us was as yet no sacred article of faith; when nlen were so 
void of any theoretic interest in the world, that they from day 


* Culture in the sense in which it is here taken. It is highly charac- 
tf'ristic of Christianity, and a IJopular proof of our positions, that the only 
language in which the Divine Spirit was and is held to reveal himself ill 
Christianity, is not the language of a Sophocles or a Plato, of art and 
philosophy, but the vague, unformed, crudely emotional language of the 
Bible. 



THE :\IYSTERY OF FAITH. 


133 


to day looked forward to its destruction; when they Hved only 
in the rapturous prospect and hope of heaven, that is, in the 
ilnaginatioll of it (for whatever heaven lllay be, for thein, so 
long as they were on earth, it existed only in the ilnagination); 
when this inlagination was not a fiction but a truth, nay, the 
eternal, alone abiding truth, not an inert, idle source of conso- 
lation, but a practical moral principle detern1Ïning actions, a 
principle to which men joyfully sacrificed real life, the real 
world with all its glories; -let hÜn transport hÏ1n:self to 
those times and he must himself be very superficial to pro- 
nounce the psychological genesis of miracles superficial. 
It is no valid objection that n1Ïracles have happened, or are 
supposed to have happened, in the presence of whole as- 
semblies: no man was independent, all were filled with exalted 
sUl)ranaturalistic ideas and feelings; all were animated by the 
same faith, the saIne hope, the same hallucinations. And who 
does not know that there are comlnon or similar dreams, COlnmon 
or similar visions, especially filnong Í1npassioned individuals 
who are closely united and restricted to their own circle? But 
be that as it may. If the explanation of miracles by feeling 
and imagination is superficial, the charge of superficiality falls 
not on the explainer but on that which he explains, namely, 
on miracle; for, seen in clear daylight, miracle presents abso- 
lutely nothing else than the sorcery of the imagination, which 
satisfies without contradiction all the wishes of the heart. * 


:I: J\Iany miracles may really have had originally a physical or physiolo- 
gical phenomenon as their foundation. But we are here considering only 
the religious 8ignificance and genesis of miracle. 



]34 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


CHAPTER XIV. 


THE l\IYSTERY OF THE RESURRECTION A
D OF THE 
l\IIRACULOUS CONCEPTION. 


THE quality of being agreeable to subjective inclination belongs 
not only to l)ractical miracles, in which it is conspicuous, as 
they have Ï1nlnediate reference to the interest or wish of the 
human individual; it" belongs also to theoretical, or more pro- 
perly dogmatic miracles, and hence to the Resurrection and 
the l\liraculous Concepcion. 
1Ian, at least in a state of ordinary well-being, has the wish 
not to die. This wish is originally identical with the instinct 
of self-preservation. 'Vhatever lives seeks to maintain itself, 
to continue alive, and consequently not to die. Subsequently, 
when reflection and feeling are developed under the urgency of 
life, especially of social and political life, this prÜnary negative 
wish beconles the positive wish for a life, and that a better life, 
after death. But this wish involves the further wish for the 
certainty of its fulfilment. Reason can afford no such certainty. 
It has therefore been said that all proofs of Ï1nlnortalityare 
insufficient, and even that unassiste(l reason is not capable of 
apprehending it, still less of proving it. And with justice; for 
reason furnishes only general proofs; it cannot give the cer- 
tainty of any personal immortality, and it is precisely this 
certainty which is desired. Such a certainty requires an im- 
mediate personal assurance, a practical demonstration. This 
can only be given to Ine by the fact of a dead person, whose 
death has been previously certified, rising again from the grave; 
and he nlust be no indifferent person, but on the contrary the 
type and representative of all others, so that his resurrection 
also nlay be the type, the guarantee of theirs. The resurrec- 
tion of Christ is therefore the satisfied desire of man for an 
immediate certainty of his personal existence after death,- 
personal Ì1nlnortality as a sensible, indubitable fact. 
Immortality was with the heathen philosophers a question in 



THE MYSTERY OF THE RESURRECTION. 135 


which the personal interest was only a collateral point. They 
concerned thelnselves chiefly -\vith the nature of the soul, of 
mind, of the vital principle. The immortality of the vital prin- 
ciple by no means involves the idea, not to mention the 
certainty, of personal immortality. Hence the vagueness, 
discrepancy, and dubiousness with which the ancients express 
thelnselves on this subject. The Christians, on the contrary, 
in the undoubting certainty that their personal, self-flattering 
wishes will be fulfilled, i,e., in the certainty of the divine nature 
of their elnotions, the truth and unassailableness of their sub- 
jective feelings, converted that which to the ancients was a 
theoretic problem, into an imnlediate fact,-converted a theo- 
retic, and in itself open question, into a matter of conscience, 
the denial of which was equivalent to the high treason of 
atheism. He who denies the resurrection denies the resurrec- 
tion of Christ, but he who denies the resurrection of Christ 
denies Christ himself, and he who denies Christ denies God. 
Thus did "spiritual J) Christianity unspiritualize what was 
spiritual! To the Christians the Ï1nlnortality of the reason, of 
the soul, was far too abstract and negative; they had at heart 
only a personal Ünlnortality, such as would gratify their feel- 
ings; and the guarantee of this lies in a bodily resurrection 
alone. The resurrection of the body is the highest trÏlllnph of 
Christianity over the sublime, but certainly abstract spirituality 
and objectivity of the ancients. For this reason the idea of the 
resurrection could never be assÏ1nilated by the pagan mind. 
As the Resurrection, which terminates the sacred history, 
(to the Christian not a mere history, but the truth itself,) 
is a realized wish, so also is that which commences it, nalnely, 
the l\Iiraculous Conception, though this has relation not so 
much to an imlnediately personal interest as to a particular 
subjective feeling. 
The more man alienates himself from Nature, the more sub- 
jective, i.e., supranatural, or fintinatural, is his view of things, 
the greater the horror he has of Nature, or at least of those na- 
tural objects and processes which displease his Ï1nagination, 
which affect him disagreeably.* The free, objective man 


* "If Adam had not fallen into sin, nothing would have been known of 
the cruelty of wolves, lions, bears, &c., and thel'e would not have been in 
all creation anything v
xatious and dangerous to man . . . .; no thorns, or 
thistles, or diseases . . . .; his brow would not have been wrinkled; no foot, or 



136 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


doubtless finds things repugnant and distasteful in Nature, but 
he regards theIn as natural, ineyitaùle results, and under this 
conviction he subdues his feeling as a merely subjective and 
untrue one. On the contrary, the subjective man, who lives 
only in the feelings and imagination, regards these things 
,vith a quite peculiar aver.sion. He has the eye of that unhappy 
foundling, who eyen in looking at the loveliest flower could pay 
attention only to the little" black beetle," which crawled over 
it, and who by this perversity of perception had his enjoyment 
in the sight of flo-wers always embittered. l\Ioreover, the subjec- 
tive man makes his feelings the measure, the standard of what 
ought to Le. That which doe
 not plea:::;e hinl, which offends 
his transcendental, supranatural, or antinatural feelings, ought 
not to be. Even if that which pleases him eannot exist with- 
out being associated with that wlJich displeases hinl, the sub- 
jective man is not guided by the wearisome laws of logic and 
physics but hy the self-will of the ÏJnagillation; hence he drops 
what is disagreeable in a fact, and holds fast alone what is 
agreeable. Thus the idea of the pure, holy 'Virgin pleases hÏ1n; 
still he is also pleased with the idea of the l\Iother, but only 
of the ::\10ther who already carries the infant on her arnlS. 
'Tirginity in itself is to him the highest llloral idea, the 
cornn copiæ of his supranaturalistic feelings and ideas, his 
personified sense of honour and of shanle before COlnmon 
nature. * Nevertheless, there stirs in his bOSOlll a natural 
feeling also, the cOlnpassionate feeling which Inakes the l\Iother 


hand, or other member of the body would have been feeble or infirm."-" But 
now, since the Fall, we all know and feel what a fury lurks in our flesh, 
which not only burns and rages with lust and desire, but also loathes, when 
once
obtained, the very thing it has desired. But this is the fault of 
original sin, which has polluted all creatures; wherefore I believe that 
before the Fall the sun was much brighter, water much clearer, and the 
land much richer, and fuller of all sorts of plants."-Luther (T. i. s. 322, 
323, 329, 337). 
:11= "Tantum denique abest incesti cupido, ut nonnullis rubori sit etiam 
pudica conjunctio."-.l\I. Felicis, Oct. c. 31. One Father was so extraordi- 
narily chaste that he had never seen a woman's face, nay, he dreaded even 
touehing himself, "se quoque ipsum attingere quodammodo horrebat." 
Another Father had so fine an olfactory sense in this matter, that on the 
approach of an unchaste person he perceived an insupportable odour.- 
Bayle (Diet. Art. Mariana Rem. C.). But the supreme, the divine 
principle of this hyperphysical delicacy, is the Virgin l\Iary; hence the 
Catholics name her Virginum Gloria, Virginitatis corona, Virginitatis 
typus et forma puritatis, Virginum vexillifera, Virginitatis magistra, 
Virginum prima, Virginitatis primiceria. 



THE )IYSTERY OF THE RESURRECTION. 137 


beloved. 'Yhat then is to be done in this difficulty of the 
heart, in this conflict between a natural and a supranatural 
feeling? The supranaturalist must unite the two, must com- 
prise in one and the same subject two predicates which exclude 
each other. * 0 what a plenitude of agreeable, sweet, super- 
sensual, sensual mnotions lies in this combination? 
Here we have the kev to the contradiction in Catholicism, 
that nt the saIne tÍlne I
arriage is holy, and celibacy is holy. 
This simply realizes, as a practical contradiction, the dogmatic 
contradiction of the \Tirgin 1\lothor. But this wondrous union 
of virginity and Inaternity, contradicting nature and reason, 
but in the highest degree accordant with the feelings und 
imagination, is no product of Catholicism; it lies already in 
the twofold part which marriage plays in the Bible, especially 
in the view of the Apostle Paul. The supernatural conception 
of Christ is a fundanlental doctrine of Christianity, a doctrine 
which expresses its inlnost dognlatic essence, and which rests 
on the saUle foundation as all other miracles and articles 
of faith. As death, which the philosopher, the man of 
science, the free objective thinker in general, accepts as a 
natural necessity, and as indeed all the lÏ1nits of nature, 
which are impediments to feeling, but to reason are rational laws, 
were repugnant to the Christians, and were set aside by them 
through the supposed agency of miraculous power; so, neces- 
sarily, they had an equal repugnance to the natural process of 
generation, and superseded it by miracle. The 
liraculous 
Conception is not less welcome than the Resurrection, to all 
believers; for it was the first step towards the purification of 
11lallkind, polluted by sin and Nature. Only because the God- 
man was not infected with original sin, could he, the pure one, 
purify mankind in the eyes of God, to whonl the natural 
process of generation was an object of aversion, because he 
himself is nothing else but supranaturnl feeling. 
Even the arid Protestant orthodoxy, so arbitrary in its 
criticism, regarded the conception of the God-producing 
vTirgin, as a great, adorable, amazing, holy mystery of faith, 
transcending rea::,on.t But with the Protestants, who confined 


:He "Salve sancta parens, enixa puerpera Regem, 
Gaudia ma,tris habens cum virgillitatis honore." 
Theol. Schol. Mezger. t. iv. p. 132. 
t See e.g. J. D. Winckler, Philolog. Lactant. s. Brunsvigæ, 1754, pp. 
247-254. 



138 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


the speciality of the Christian to the domain of faith, and with 
whom, in life, it was allowable to be a man, even this lnystery 
had only a doglnatic, and no longer a practical significance; 
they did not allow it to interfere with their desire of malTiage. 
"\Vith the Catholics, and with all the old, uncompromising, 
uncritical Christians, that which was a n1ystery of faith, was a 
n1ystery of life, of morality. * Catholic morality is Christian, 
mystical; Protestant morality was, in its very beginning, ra- 
tionalistic. Protestant morality is, and was, a carnallningling 
of the Christian with the n1an, the natural, political, civil, 
social man, or whntever else he may be called in distinction 
from the Christian; Catholic morality cherished in its heart 
the mystery of the unspotted virginity. Catholic morality was 
the lJlater clolorosa; Protestant morality a comely, fruitful 
matron. Protestantism is from beginning to end the con- 
tradiction between faith ancllove; for which very reason it has 
been the 
ource, or at least the condition, of freedom. Just 
because the mystery of the .Virgo Deipal'ct had with the Pro- 
testants a place only in theory, or rather in dogma, and no 
longer in practice, they declared that it was Î1llpossible to 
express oneself with sufficient care and reserve concerning it, 
and that it ought not to be made an object of speculation. 
That which is denied in practice has no true basis and dura- 
bility in nlan, is a 111ere spectre of the mind; and hence it is 
withdrawn from the investigation of the understanding. Ghosts 
no not brook daylight. 
Even the later doctrine, (which, however, had been already 
enunciated in a letter to St. Bernard, who rejects it,) that 
]'Iary herself was conceived without taint of original sin, is by 
no lneans a "strange school-bred doctrine," as it is called by 
a modern historian. That which gives birth to a miracle, 
,vhich brings forth God, must itself be of miraculous, divine 
origin, or nature. How could 1\lary have had the honour of 
being overshadowed by the Holy Ghost, if she had not been 
ii.om the first pure? Could the Holy Ghost tA.ke up his 
abode in a body pol1uted by original sin? If the principle of 
Christianity, the miraculous birth of the Saviour, does not 
appear strange to you, why think strange the naïve, well- 
meaning inferences of Catholicism? 


* See on this subject Pkilos. und Ckristentkum, by L. Feuerbach. 



THE :MYSTERY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHRIST. 139 


CHAPTER XV. 


THE l\IYSTERY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHRIST, OR THE 
PERSONAL GOD. 


THE fundamental dogmas of Christianity are realized wishes 
of the heart ;-the essence of Christianity is the essence of hu- 
man feeling. It is pleasanter to be passive than to act, to be 
redeemed and made free by another than to free oneself; plea- 
santer to nlake one's salvation dependent on a person than on 
the force of one's own spontaneity; pleasanter to set before 
oneself an object of love than an object of effort; pleasanter to 
know onebelf belov
d lJY God than 111erely to lutve dInt bimple, 
natural self-love which is innate in all beings; pleasanter to 
see oneself imaged in the love-beaming eyes of another personal 
ùeing, than to look into the concave mirror of self, or into the 
cold depth::; of the ocean of Nature; pleasanter, in short, to 
allow oneself to be acted on by one.s own feeling as ùy another, 
but yet fundamentally identical being, than to regulate oneself 
by reason. Feeling is the oblique cåse of the ego, the ego in 
the accusative. The ego of Fichte is destitute of feeling, 
because tbe accusative is the same as the nonlÏnative, because 
it. is indeclinable. But feeling or sentiment is the ego acted 
on _by itself, and by itself as another being,-the l)assive ego. 
Feeling changes the active in man into the passive, and the 
pasRive into the active. To feeling, that which thinks is the 
thing thought, and the thing thought is that which thinks. 
Feeling is the dream of Nature; and there is nothing more 
blif'sful, nothing more profound than dreaming. But what is- 
drean1Ïng ? The reversing of the waking consciousness. In 
dreaming, the active is the passive, the passive the active; in 
dreaming, I take the spontaneous action of my own n1Ìnd for 
an action uI)on 1ne from without, my enlotions for events, my 
conceptions and sensations for true existences apart from 
myself. I suffer what I also perform. Dreaming is a double 
refi'a
tion of the rays of light; hence its indescribable charm. 
I t is the same ego, the sallie being in dl'ean1Ïng as in waking; 



140 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


the only distinction is, that in waking, the ego acts on itself; 
whereas in dre
nning, it is acted on by itself as by ftnother being. 
I think 'myself-is a passionless, rationalistic position; I a1n 
thought by God, and think n1yself only as thought by God- 
is a position pregnant with feeling, religious. Feeling is a 
dream with the eyes open; religion the dream of waki11g con- 
sciousness: dreaming is the key to the mysteries of religion. 
The highest law of feeling is the Í1nmediate unity of will and 
deed, of wishing and reality. This law is fulfilled by the 
Redeemer. As external n1iracles, in opposition to natural ac- 
tivity, realize immediately the physical wants and wishes of 
man; so the Redeemer, the l\Iediator, the God-man, in opposi- 
tion to the moral spontanèÏty of the natural or rationalistic 
man, satisfies immediately the inward moral wants and wishes, 
since he dispenses Inan on his own side froIn any intennediate 
activity. \Vhat thou wishest is already effected. Thou desirest 
to win, to deserve happiness. l\Iorality is the condition, the 
means of happiness. But thou canst not fulfil this condition; 
that is, in truth, thou needest not. That which thou seekest to 
do has already been done. Thou hast only to be passive, thou 
needest only believe, only enjoy. Thou desirest to lnake God 
favourable to thee, to appease his anger, to be at peace with thy 
conscience. But this peace exists already; this peace is the 

fecliator, the God-Inan. He is thy appeased conscience; he 
is the fulfilment of the law, and therewith the fulfilment of thy 
own ,vish and effort. 
Therefore it is no longer the law, but the fulfiller of the law, 
who is the model, the guiding thread, the rule of thy life. He 
who fulfils the law, a1Jnuls the law. The law has authority, has 
v<lliditv, only in relation to him who violates it. But he who 
perfectly fuIfUs the law, bays to it: 'Vhat thou wilIest I spon- 
taneously will, and what thou commanùest I enforce by deeds; 
my life is the true, the living law. The fulfiller of the law, 
therefore, necessarily steps into the place of the law; moreover 
he becomes a new hnv, one whose yoke is light and easy. For 
in place of the lnerely in1perative law, he presents hÍ1nself as an 
example, as an object of love, of admiration and emulation, and 
thus becon1es the Saviour ii'onl sin. The law does not give 
me the power to fulfil the law; no! it is hard and lnerciless; 
it only cOlnlnands, without troubling itself whether I caJ1 fulfil 
it, or how I am to fulfil it; it leaves me to myself, without 
coun
el or aid. But he who presents himself to me as an ex. 



THE MYSTERY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHRIST. 141 


ample, lights up lilY path, take
 me by the hand, and imparts 
to me his own strength. The law lend
 no I) ower of resisting 
sin, but exanlple works n1Ïracles. The law is dead; but ex- 
ampJe animates, inspires, carries men involuntarily along with 
it. The law speaks only to the understanding, and sets itself 
directly in opposition to the instincts; example, on the con- 
tral)T, appeals to a powerful instinct inlnlediately connected 
with the activity of the senses, that of involuntary imitation. 
Exatllple operates on the feelings and inutgination. In short, 
exmnple has lllagical, i. e., sense-affecting powers; for the ma- 
gical or involuntary force of attraction, is an essential property 
as of Inatter in general, so in particular of that which affects 
the senses. 
The ancients said, that if virtue could become visible, its 
beauty would win and inspire all hearts. The Ohristians were 
so happy as to see even this wish fulfilled The heathens bad 
an unwritten, the Jews a written law; the Christians had a 
model-a visible, personal, living law, a law made flesh. Hence 
the joyfulness especially of the primitive Christians, hence the 
glory of Christianity that it alone contains and bestows the 
power to resist sin. And this glory is not to be denied it. 
Only it is to 1e observed that the power of the eX8111plar of 
virtue is not so much the power of virtue as the power of ex- 
ample in ge,neral, just as the l)ower of religious music is not 
the power of religion, but the power of music;* and that 
therefore, though the image of virtue has virtuous actions as 
its conseqnences, these actions are destitute of the dispositions 
and motives of virtue. But this simple and true sense of the 
redeeming and reconciling power of example ill distinction 
from the power of law, to which we have reduced the antithesis 
of the law and Christ, by no llleRns expresses the full religious 
significance of the Christian redemption and reconciliation. 
In this, everything reduces itself to the personal power of that 
miraculous intermediate being who is neither God alone nor 
man alone, but a man who is abo God, and a God who is also 


* In relation to this, the confession of Augustine is interesting. "Ita 
fluctuo inter periculum voluptatis et experimentum salubritatis: Inagisque 
adducor . . . cantandi consuetudinem approbare in ecclesia, ut per oblecta- 
menta aurium infirmior animus in affectum pietatis as
mrgat. rramen cunl 
mihi accidit, ut nos amplius cantus, quam res quæ canitur move at, 
pænaliter me peccare confiteor."-Confess. 1. x. c. 33. 



142 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


man, and who can therefore only be comprehencled in connec- 
tion with the significance of miracle. In this, the miraculous 
Redeemer is nothing else than the realized wish of feeling to 
be free froIn the laws of morality, i.e., from the conditions to 
which virtue is united in the natural course of things; the 
realized wish to be freed from moral evils instantaneously, 
inlmediately, by a stroke of magic, that is, in an absoluteÌ y 
subjective, agreeable way. " The word of God," says Luther, 
for example, "accomplishes all things swiftly, brings forgive- 
ness of sins, and gives thee eternal life, and costs nothing 
more than that thou shouldst heal' the "word, and '
rhen thou 
hast heard it shouldst believe. If thou believest, thou hast 
it without pains, cost, delay, or difficulty:'. But that hearing 
of the word of God, which is followed by faith, is itself a " gift 
of God." Thus faith is nothing else than a psychological 
miracle, R supernatural operation of God in man, as Luther 
likewise says. But man becomes free from sin and from the 
consciousness of guilt only through faith,-n10rality is depen- 
dent on faith, the virtues of the heathens are only splendid 
sins; thus he becomes nlorally free and good only through 
miracle. 
That the idea of miraculous power is one with the iJea of the 
intermediate being, at once divine and human, has historical 
proof in the fact that the miracles of the Old Testament, the 
delivery of tbe law, Providence-all the elmnents which 
constitute the essence of religion, were in the later Judaism 
attributed to the I
ogos. In Philo, however, this Logos still 
hovers in the air between heaven and earth, now as abstract, 
now as concrete; that is, Philo vacillates between hÜuself as a 
philosopher and himself as a religious Israelite, between the 
l}ositive element of religion and the metnphysical idea of deity; 
but in such a way tbat even the abstract element is with him 
more or less invested with imaginative forms. In Christianity 
this Logos first attained perfect consistence, i.e., religion now 
concentlated itself exclusively on that element, thnt object, 
which is the basis of its essential difference. The Logos is the 
personified essence of religion. Hence the definition of God 
as the essence of feeling, has its conlplete truth only in the 
Logos. 


:)(: Th. xvi. p. 4DO. 



THE .l\IYSTERY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHRIST. 143 


God as God is feeling as yet shut up, hidden; only Christ 
is the unclof'ed, open feeling or heart. In Cllrist feeling is 
first perfectly certain of itself: and assured beyond doubt of the 
truth and divinity of its own nature; for Christ denies nothing 
to feeling; he fulfils all its prayers. In God the soul is still 
silent as to what affects it most closely,-it only sighs; but in 
Christ it speaks out fully; here it has no longer any reserves. 
To him who only sighs, wishes are still attended with disqui- 
etude; he rather complains that what he wishes is not, than 
openly, positively declares what he wishes; he is still in doubt 
whether his wishes have the force uf law. But in Christ, all 
anxiety of the soul vanishes; he is the sighing soul passed 
into a song of triumph over its complete satisfaction; he is the 
joyful certainty of feeling that its wishes hidden in God have 
truth and reality, the actual victory over death, over all the 
powers of the world and K ature, the resurrection no longer 
merely hoped for, but already accomplished; he is the heart 
released fro!TI all oppressive IÜnits, froln all sufferings,-the soul 
in perfect blessedness, the Godhead made visible. * 
To see God is the highest wish, tbe highest triulllph of the 
heart. Christ is this wish, this triumph, fulfilled. God, as an 
object of thought only, i.e., God as God, is always a remote 
being; the relation to him is an abstract one, like that relation 
of friendship in which we stand to a 11lan who is distant from 
us, and personally unknown to us. However his works, the 
proofs of love which he gives us, 1uay nlake his nature present 
to us, there always remains an unfilled void,-the heart is un- 
satisfied, we long to see him. So long as we bave not met a 
being face to face, we are always in doubt whether he be 
really such as we imagine him; actual presence alone gives. 


* "Bccause God has given us his Son, he has with him given us every- 
thing, whetlwr it be called devil, sin, hell, heaven, righteousness, life; all, 
all must be ours, because the Son is ours as a gift, in whom all else is 
illcluded."-Luther (T. xv. p. 311). "The best part of the resurrection 
has already happened; Christ, the head of all Christendom, has passed 
through death, and risen frOln the dead. l\Ioreover, the most excellent 
part of me, nlY soul, has likewise passed through death, and is with Christ 
in the heavenly being. What harm, then, can death and the grave do 
me P"-Luther (T. xvi. p. 235). "A Christian man has equal power 
with Christ, has fellowship with him and a common tenure. (T. xiii. 
p. 648.) ""Vhoever cleaves to Christ, has as much as he." (T. xvi. 
p. 574.) 



144 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


final confidence, perfect repose. Christ is Goel known per- 
sonally; Christ, therefore, is the blessed certainty that God is 
,vhat the soul desires and needs him to be. God, as the object 
of prayer, is indeed already a human being, since he SYlnpa- 
thizes with human misery, grants human wishes; but still he 
is not yet an object to the religious consciousness as a real 
man. Hence, only in Christ is the last wish of religion 
realized, the mystery of religious feeling solved :-solved how- 
ever in the language of imagery proper to religion, for what 
God is in essence, that Christ is in actual appearance. So far 
the Christian religion may justly be called the absolute religion. 
That God, who in himself is nothing else than the nature of 
man, should also have a real existence as such, should be us 
man an object to the consciousness-this is the goal of reli- 
gion. And this the Christian religion has attained in the in- 
carnation of God, which is by no means a transitory act, for 
Christ ren1ain8 man even after his ascension,-rnan in heart 
and man in form, only that his body is no longer an earthly 
one, liable to suffering. 
The incarnations of the Deity with the orientals-the Hin- 
doos for example, have no such intense meaning a8 the Chris- 
tian incarnation; just because they happen often they become 
indifferent, they lose their value. The Inanhood of God is his 
personality; the ])roposition, God is a personal being, means: 
God is a human being, God is a man. Personality is an ab- 
straction, which has reality only in an actuallnan.* The idea 
which lies at the foundation of the incarnations of God is 
therefore infinitely better conveyed Ly one incarnation, one 
personality. \Vhere God appears in several persons succes- 
sively, these personalities are evanescent. \Yhat is required is a 
pernlanent, an exclusive personality. \Vhere there are n1any 
incarnations, room is given for innumerable others; the ima- 
gination is not restrained; and even those incarnations which 
are already real pass into the category of the merely possible 
and conceivable, into the category of fancies, or of luere ap- 
pearances. But where one personality is exclusively believed 


* This exhibits clearly the untruthfulness and yanity of the modern 
speculations concerning the personality of God. If you are not ashamed 
of a personal God, do not be ashamed of a corporeal God. An abstract 
colourless personality, a personality without fle
h and blood, is an enlpty 
shade. 



THE :MYSTERY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHRIST. 145 


in and contemphtted, this at once impresses with the power of 
an historical personality; imagination is done away with, the 
freedom to imagine others is renounced. This one personality 
presses on me the belief in its reality. The characteristic 
of real personality is precisely exclusiveness,-the Leibnitzian 
principle of distinction, lunnely, that no 011e existence is ex- 
actly like another. The tone, the eml)hasis, with which the 
one personality is expressed, produces such an effect on the 
feelings, that it presents itself immediately as a real one, and 
is converted frOIn an oLject of the Ünagination into an object 
of historical knowledge. 
Longing is the neccss'ity of feeling; and feeling longs 
for a personal Goù. But this longing after the personality 
of God is true, earnest, and profound, only when it is the 
longing for one personality, when it is satisfied with one. 
'Yith the plurality of persons, the truth of the want vanishes, 
and personality becomes a mere luxury of the imagination. 
But that which operates with the force of necessity, operates 
with the force of reality on man. That w'hich to the feelings 
is a necessary being, is to them immediately a real being. 
Longing says: There must be a personal God, i. e., it cannot 
be that there is not; satisfied feeling says: He is. The guaran- 
tee of his existence lies for feeling in its sense of the necessity 
of his existence; the necessity of the satisfaction in the force 
of the want. Necessity knows no law besides itself; necessity 
breaks iron. Feeling knows no other necessity than its own, 
than the necessity of feeling, than longing; it holds in extreme 
horror the necessity of Nature, the necessity of reason. Thus 
to feeling, a subjective, sympathetic, personal God is neces- 
sary; hut it demands one personality alone, and this an 
historical, real one. Only when it is satisfieù in the unity 
of personality has feeling any concentration; plurality dissi- 
pates it. . 
But as the truth of personality is unity, and as the truth 
of unity is reality, so the truth of real personality is-blood. 
The last proof, announced with peculiar emphasis by the author 
of the fourth gospel, that the visible person of God was no 
phantaslll, no illusion, but a real man, is, that blood flowed 
from his side on the cross. If the personal God has a true 
sympathy with distress, he must himself suffer distress. Only 
in hi::, suffering lies the assurance of his reality; only on this 
H 



146 


THE ESSENCE OF CH:IUSTIANITY. 


depends the iInpressiveness of the incanuttion. To see God 
does not satisfy feeling; the eyes give no sufficient guarantee. 
The truth of vision is confirnled only by touch. But as sub- 
jectively touch, so objectively the capabÜity of being touched, 
l)alpability, passibility, is the last criterion of reality; hence 
the passion of Christ is the highest confidence, the highest 
self-enjoyment, the highest consolation of feeling; for only 
in the blood of Christ is the thirst for a personal, that is, a 
Jluman, sympathizing, tenùer God, allayed. 
"'Yherefore we hold it to be a pernicious error when such 
(namely, divine) majesty is taken away from Christ according 
to his luanhood, thereby depriving Christians of their highest 
consolation, which they have in . . . . the promise of the 
presence of their Head, ICing and High Priest, who has pro- 
nlÏsed them that not his nlÐl'e Godhead, which to us poor 
sinners is as a consuming :fire to dry stubble, but He, He, the 

Ian-"Tho has spoken with us, who has proved all sorrows in 
the human form which he took upon him, who therefore can 
have fellow-feeling with us as his brethrell,-that He will 
be with us in all our need, according to the nature whereby he 
is our brother, and we are flesh of his flesh." *" 
It i
 superficial to say that Christianity is not the religion of 
one l)ersonal God, but of three l)ersonnlities. These three 
l)ersonalities have certainly an existence in dogma; but even 
there the l)ersonality of the I101y Spirit is only an arbitrary 
decision which is contradicted by irnpersonal definitions, as for 
example that the Holy Spirit is the gift of the Father and 
SOll.t Already the very" procession" of the Holy Ghost pre- 
sents an evil prognostic for his personality, for a personal 
being is produced only by generation, not by an indefinite 
emanation or by spil'atio. ....\nd even the Father, as the repre- 
sentatiye of the rigorous idea of the Godhead, is a personal 
being only according to opinion and assertion, not arcording 
to his definitions: he is an abstract idea, a purely rationalistic 
being. Only Christ is the plastic personality. To personality 
belongs form; fornl is the reality of personality. Christ alone 
is the personal God; he is the real God of Christians, a truth 


* Concordienb. Erklär. Art. 8. 
t ThIs was excellently shown by Faustus Socinus. See his Def('n
. 
Animadv. in Assert. Theo!. ColI. Posnall. de trino et uno Deo. Irenopoli, 
1636. c. 11. 



THE }IYSTERY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHRIST. 147 


which cannot l)e too often repeated.* In him alone is concen- 
trated the Christian religion, the essence of religion in general. 
He alone meets the longing for it personal God; he alone is an 
existence identical with the nature of feeling; on hinl alone 
are heaped all the joys of the iInagination, and all the suffer- 
ings of the heart; in him alone are feeling and iInagination 
exhausted. Christ is the blending in one of feeling and 
imagination. 
Christianity is distinguished from óther religions by this, 
that in other religions the heart and iInagination are divided, 
in Christianity they coinciùe. Here the imagination does not 
wander, left to itself; it follows the leadings of the heart; it 
describes a circle, whose centre is feeling. Ínutgination is here 
liInited by the wants of the heart, it only realizes the wishes of 
feeling, it has reference only to the one thing needful; in brief, 
it has, at least generally, a practical, concentric tendency, not a 
vagrant, lllerely poetic one. The Iniracles of Christianity- 
no product of free, spontaneous activity, but conceived in the 
bOSOlll of yearning, necessitons feeling-l)lace us immediately 
on the ground of common, real life ; they act on the emotional 
man with irresistible force, because they have the necessity of 
feeling on their side. The power of imagination is here 
at the sanle time the power of the heart,-imagination is 
only the victorious, triumphant heart. 'Vith the orientals, 
,yith the Greeks, imagination, untroubled by the wants of the 
heart, revelled in the enj oyment of earthly splendour and 


* Let the l.eader examine, with reference to this, the writings of the 
Christian orthodox theologians against the heterodox; for example, against 
the Socinians. lVlodern theologians, indeed, agree with the latter, as is well 
known, in pronouncing the divinity of Christ as accepted by the Church 
to be unbiblical; but it is undeniably the characteristic lu'inciple of Chris- 
tianity, and even if it does not stand in the Bible in the form which is 
given to it by dogma, it is nevertheless a necessary consequence of what is 
found in the Bible. A being who is the fulness of the godhead bodily, 
who is Ollll1iscient (John xvi. 30) and almighty (raises the dead, works 
miracles), who is befOl'e all things, both in time and rank, who has life in 
him8elf (though an imparted life) like as the father has life in himself,- 
what, if we follow out the consequences, can such a being be, but God? 
"Christ is one with the Father in will; "-but unity of will presup- 
poses unity of nature. "Christ is the ambassador, the representative of 
God ;"-but God can only be represented by a divine being. I can only 
choose as my representative one in whonl I find the same or similar quali- 
ties as in nlyself; otherwise I belie myself. 
H2 



148 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


glory; in Christianity, it descended from the palace of the gods 
into the abode of poverty, where only want rules,-it humbled 
itbelf under the swav of the heart. But the lllore it limited 
itself in extent, the 
ore intense beCaIl1e its strength. The 
,vautonness of the Olympian gods could not lnaintain itself 
before the rigorous necessity of the heart; but imagination is 
omnipotent when it has a bond of union with the heart. And 
this bond between the freedom of the imagination and the 
necessity of the heart is Christ. All things are subject to 
Christ; he is the Lord of the worhl who does with it what He 
will: but this unliIllited power over Nature is itself again 
subject tu the power of the heart ;-Christ comlllands raging 
Nature to be still, but only that he may hear the sighs of the 
needy. 



CHRISTIANITY AXD llEATHEXIS:M. 


]49 


CHAPTER X'
I. 


THE DISTIXCTION BET'VEE:N CHRISTIA1\ITY AXD 
HEATHE:NISJ!. 


CHRIST is the omnipotence of subjectivity, the heart releaseel 
from all the bonels and laws of Nature, the soul excluding the 
world, and concentrated only on itself, the reality of all the 
heart's wishes, the :Ea
ter festival of the heart, the ascent to 
heaven of the imagination r-Christ therefore is the distinc- 
tion of Christianity froIll IIeathenism. 
In Christianitv, &Illan was concentrated only on himself, he 
unlinked hin1seÜ' fron1 the chain uf sequencès in the systenl 
of the universe, he made himself a self-sufficing whole, an 
aùsulute, extra - flnd supralnunelane being. Because he no 
longer regarded hin1ßelf as a being immanent in the world, 
because he severed hiIllself from connexion with it, he felt him- 
self an unlimiteel heing-(for the sole lin1Ít of suhjectivity iR 
the world, is objectivity),-he had no longer any rea
on to doubt 
the truth and validity of his su1jective wishes and feelings. 
The heathens, on the contrary, not shutting out K ature 
by retreating within theIllselves, lin1Ïted their su1jectivity by 
the contemplation of the ,yorld. Highly as the ancients ebti- 
11lated the intelligence, the reason, they were yet liberal anel 
objective enough, theoretically as well as practically to allow 
that which they distinguished froIll mind, nanlely, n1r.tter, to 
live, anù even to live eternally; the Christians evinced their 
theoretical as well as practical intolerance in their helief that 
they secured the eternity of their suùjective life, only by anni- 
hilating, as in the doctrine of the destruction of the world, the 
opposite of subjectivity-X ature. The ancients were free from 
themselves, but their freeùoIll ,,-as that of indifference to,yanls 
thenlselves; the Christians were free from K ature, but their 
freedom was not that of reason, not true freedoIn, which lÍ1nits 
itself by the contelnplation of the world, by 
 ature,-it was 
the freedom of feeling and imagination, the freedom of Iniracle. 
The ancients ,vere so enraptured by the COSI110S, that they lost 
sight of thenlselves, suffered themselves to be mergeù in the 



]50 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIA
ITY. 


whole; the Christians despised the world ;-what is the creature 
cOlnpared with the Creator? what are sun, 11loon, and earth, 
cOlnpared with the lnllnan soul?* The world passes away, 
but man, nay, the int1ividual, personal nlan is eternal. If the 
Ohristians severed 11lan from all comlnunity with Nature, and 
hence fell into the extren1e of an arrogant fastidiousness, which 
stigmatized the remotest comparison of man with the brutes as 
an iInpious violation of human dignity; the heathens, on the 
other hand, fell into the opposite extreme, into that spirit of 
depreciation which abolishes the distinction between man and 
the brute, or even, as was the case, for example, with Oelsus, 
the opponent of Ohristianity, degrades lnan beneath the 
brute. 
But the heathens considered man not only in connexion 
with the universe; they considered the indi,Tich{alulan, in con- 
nexion with other men, as member of a commonwealth. They 
rigorously distinguished the individual from the species, the 
individual as a part from the race as a whole, and they subor- 
dinated the part to the whole. l\Ien pass away, hut nlflnkincl 
rmnains, says a heathen philosopher. " \Vhy wilt thou grieve 
over the loss of thy daughter?" writes Sulpicius to Cicero. 
" Great, renowned cities and empires have passed away, and 
thou behavest thus at the death of an honUlnC1Jlus, a little 
human being! 'Vhere is thy l)hilosophy ?" The idea of man 
as an individual was to the ancients a secondary one, attained 
through the idea of the species. Though they thought highly 
of the race, highly of the excellences of mankind, highly and 
sublimely of the intelligence, they nevertheless thought slightly 
of the individual. Christianity, on the contrary, cared nothing 
for the species, and hacl only the indiyidual in its eye and 
mind. Christianity-not, certainly, the Ohristianity of the 
present clay, which has incorporated with itself the cul- 
ture of heathenisln, and has preserved only the name and 
some general positions of Christianity-is the direct opposite 
of heathenism, and only when it is regarded as such is it truly 
comprehended, and untraYe
tiecl by arbitrary speculative inter- 
pretation; it is true so far as its opposite is false, and 


* "How much better is it, that I should lose the whole world than that 
I should loge God, who created the world, and can create innumel'able 
worlds, who is better than a hundred thousand, than innumerable worlds P 
For what sort of a comparison is that of the temporal with the et,n'r.1.1 ? 
. . . . . One soul is better than the whole world."-Luther (T. XL'\:, p. 
l). 



CHRISTIANITY AND HEATHENIS:i\I. 


151 


false so far as its opposite i
 true. The ancient:::; sacrificed 
the individual to the species; the Christians sacrificed the 
species to the individual. Or, heathenism conceived the indi- 
vidual only as a part in distinction from the whole of the 
species; Christianity, on the contrary, conceived the inclividual 
only in immediate, undistinguisha ble unity with the species. 
To Christianity the individual was the object of an immediate 
Providence, that is, an inl1llediate object of the Divine Being. 
The heathens believed in fI Providence for the individual, only 
through his relation to the race, through law, through the orùer 
of the world, and thus only in a nlediate, natural, and not mira- 
culous Providence;* hut the Christians left out the intermediate 
process, aIltl placed themselves in immediate connexion with 
the prescient, all-eIllbracing, universal TIeing; i.e., they inlnle- 
diately identified the individual with the universal heing. 


But the idea of deity coincides with the idea of Inunanitv. 
All divine attributes, 
ll the attributes which make God Goel, 
are attributes of the species-attributes, which in the indivi- 
dual are limited., but the lÌ1llits of which are abolished in the 
essence of the species, antI even in its existence, in so far as 
it ha:::; it::; cOIllplete existence only in all men taken toge- 
ther. 
Iy knowledge, my will, is limited; but IllY lÌ1nit is not 
the limit of another man, to say nothing of mankind; what is 
difficult to me is easy to another; "\vhat is impos
ible, incon- 
ceivable, to one age, is to the coming age conceivable and 
possible. 1\1 Y .life is bountl to a lÍ1nÏted tÌlne; not so the life of 
humanity. The history of mankind consists of nothing else 
tha.n a continuous and progressive conquest of lÜnits, which 
at a given tinle pass for the limits of humanity, and there- 
fore for absolute insurmountable lÌ1nits. But the future 
always unveils the fact, that the alleged limits of the species 
were only limits of individuals. The most striking proofs of 
this are presented by the history of philosophy and of physical 
science. It would be highly interesting and instructive to 
write a history of the sciences entirely froIll this point of view, 
in order to exhibit in all its vanity the presumptuous notion of 
the individual that he can set lin1Ïts to his race. Thus the 
species is unlimit ed; the individual alone limit ed. 
* It is true that the heatæn philosophers also, as Plato, Socrates, the 
St- . (see e. g. J. Lipsiu
, Physio1. Stoic. 1. i. diss. xi.), believed that the 
divIne Providence extended not Inerely to the general, but also to the par- 



]52 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIAKITY. 


But the sense of lin1Ïtation is painful, ancl hence the 
individual frees himself fronl it ùy the contemplation of the 
perfect Being; in this contmnplation he possesses what other- 
wise is wanting to him. 'Vith the Christians God is nothing 
else than the iunnediate unity of species and individuality, of the 
universal and individual being. God is the idea of the species 
as an individual-the idea or essence of the species, which as 
a sI)ecies, as universal being, as the totality of all perfections, 
of all attributes or realities, freed from all the limits which exist 
in the consciousness and feeling of the individual, is at the 
saJne time again an individual, personal being. Ipse SU1.l1n esse 
est. Essence and existence are in God identical; which means 
nothing else than that he is the idea, the essence of the species, 
conceived inllnediately as an existence, an individual. The 
l1Ïghest idea on the stand-point of religion is: God does not 
love, he is hinlself love; he does not live, he is life; he is 
not just, but justice itself; not a person, but personality 
itself,-the species, the idea, as immediately a conerete ex- 
istence. * 
Because of this iUlmediate unity of the species with indivi- 
duality, this concentration of all that is universal ap.d real in 
one personal being, God is a deeply nloving object, enrapturing 
to the iInagination; whereas, the idea of humanity has little 
power over the feelings, because hunlanity is only an abstrac- 
tion; and the reality which presents itself to us in distinction 
from this aùstrftction, is the luultitude of separate, limited indi- 
viduals. In Goel, on the contrary, feeling has immediate satis- 
faction, because here all is em braced in one, i. e., because here 
the species bas an iInmeeliate existence,-is an individuality. 
Goel is love, is justice, as itself a subject; he is the perfect 
universal being as une being, the infinite extension of the sl)ecies 
as an all-comprehending unity. But God is only luan's intui- 
tion of his own nature; thus the Christians are distinguished 


ticular, the indiviùual; but they identified Providence with Nature, Law, 
Necessity. The Stoics, who were the orthodox speculatists of heathenism, 
did indeed believe in miracles wrought by Providence (Cic. de Nat. Deor. 1. 
ii. and de Divil1at. 1. i,); lmt their miracles had no such supranaturalistie 
significance as those of Chl'istiallity, though they also appealed to the supra- 
naturalistic axiom: "Nihil e
t quod Deus efficere non p08sit." 
* "Dicinuu' mnare et Deus; dicinlur nosse et Deus. Et multa in hune 
modum. Sed Deu:; mnat ut charitas, novit ut veritas ete."-Bernard. (de 
Consider. 1. v.). 



CHRISTIANITY A
D HEATHEKISM. 


],33 


fronl .the heathens in this, that they immediately identify the 
individual with the species-that with them the individual has 
the bigllificance of the species, the individual by himself is held 
to be the perfect representative of the species-that they deify 
the human individual, nlake him the absolute being. 
Especially characteristic is the difference between Christianity 
and Heathenism concerning the relation of the indiyic1ual to the 
intelligence, to the undert-\tHllding, to the vovç. The Christians 
individualized the understanding, the heathens made it a uni- 
versal essenee. To the heathens, the understanding, the 
intelligence, was the essence of man; to the Christians, it wa
 
only a part of themselves. To the heathens therefore only 
the intelligence, the speGies, to the Christians the individual, 
was imlnortal, i. e. divine. Hence follows the further difference 
between heathen and Christian philosophy. 
The most unequivocal expression, the characteristic symbol 
of this inlmediate identity of the species and individuality in 
Christianity, is Christ, the real God of the Christians. Christ 
is the ideal of hUlnanity become existent, the cOlnpendium of 
all moral and divine perfections to the exclusion of all that is 
negative; pure, heavenly, sinless man, the typical man, the 
A dam Kadnlon; not regarded as the totality of the species, of 
nlankind, but Ünmediately as one individual, one person. 
Christ, i. e., the Christian, religious Christ, is therefore not the 
central, but the tern1Ïnal point of history. The Christians 
ex.pectetl the end of the world, the close of history. In the 
BiLle, Christ himself, in spite of all the falsities and sophisn1s 
of our exegetists, clearly prophesies the speedy end of the world. 
History rests only on the distinction of the individual from the 
race. 'Yhere this distinction ceases, history ceases; the very 
soul of history is extinct. Nothing remains to lnan but the 
conteIl1plation aTIcl appropriation of this realized Ideal, and the 
spirit of proselytism, which seeks to extend the prevalence of a 
fixed belief,-the preaehing that God has appeareù, and that 
the end of the world is at hanel. 
Since the imlnecliate identity of the species and the intIi... 
vidual oversteps the linlÏts of reason and Nature, it followed of 
course that this universal, ideal individual was declared to be 
a transcendent, supernatural, heavenly being. It is therefore 
a perversity to attenlpt to deduce from reason the immediate 
identity of the species and indiyidual, for it is only the illla- 
gination which effects this identity, the imagination to which 
H3 



15-1 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


nothing is impossible, find which is also the creator of miracles; 
for the greatest of miracles is the being who while he is an 
individual is at the same tin1e the ideal, the species, humanity 
in the fulness of its perfection and infinity, i. e., the Godhead. 
Hence it is also a perversity to adhere to the biblical or 
dogmatic Christ, and yet to thrust aside miracles. If the prin- 
ciple be retained, wherefore deny its necessëlry consequences? 
The total absence of the iùea of the species in Christianity 
is especially observable in its characteristic doctrine of the 
universal sinfulness of men. For there lies at the founelation 
of this doctrine the demand that the individual shall not be an 
individual, a denland which again is based on the presupposi- 
tion that the indivielual by himself is a perfect being, is by 
hÍ1nself the adequate presentation or existence of the species.* 
Here is entirely wanting the objective perception, the con- 
sciousness, that the thou belongs to the perfection of the I, 
that 1nen are requireel to constitute humanity, that only men 
taken together are what mfln should anel can be. All men are 
sinners. Granted: but they are not all sinners in the same 
way; on the contrary, there exists a great anel essential differ- 
ence between then1. One man is inclined to falsehood, another 
is not; he would rathrr givt' up his life than bl'eak his word 
or tell a lie.; the third has a propensity to intoxication, the 
fourth to licentiousness; while the fifth, whether by favour of 
Nature, or from the energy of his character, exhibits none 
of these vices. Thus, in the n10ral as well as the physical 
and intellectuill elenlents, men compensate for each other, so 
that taken as a whole they are as they should be, they present 
the perfect man. 
Hence intercourse ameliorates and elevates; inyoluntarily 
and without disguise, man is different in intercourse from what 
he is when alone. Love especially works wonders, and the love 
of the sexes lllost of all. 1\lan and WOlnan are the conlplement 
of each other, and thus united they first present the species, 


* It is true that in one sense the individual is the absolute-in the 
phraseology of Leibnitz, the "mirror of the universe, of the infinite. But in 
so far as there are many individuals, each is only a single and, as such, a 
finite mirror of the infinite. It is true also, in opposition to the abstraction 
of a sinless 1)J.an, that each individual regarded in himself is perfect, and 
only by comparison imperfect, for each is what alone he can be. 



CHRISTI.A.
 ITY AND llEATHENIS1\I. 


1:>5 


the perfect man.* 'Vithout 
pecies, love is inconceivable. 
Love is nothing else than the self-consciousness of the species 
as evolved within the difference of sex. In love, the reality of 
the species, which otherwise is only a thing of reason, an object 
of lnere thought, becomes a lnatter of feeling, a truth of feeling; 
for in love, nlan declares himself unsatisfied in his individuality 
taken by itself, he postulates the existence of another as a nee
l 
of the heart; he reckons another as part of his own being; he 
declares the life which he has through love to be the truly 
human life, corresponding to the idea of man, i. e., of the speties. 
The individual is defective, inlperfeet, weak, needy; but love 
is strong, perfect, contented, fi'ee fi'om wants, self-sufficing, 
infinite; beeause in it the self-consciousness of the individuality 
is the mysterious self-consciousness of the perfection of the 
race. But _this result of love is produced by frienùship also, 
at least where it is intense. where it is ít religion, t as it was 
with the ancients. Friends eonlpensate for each other; friend- 
ship is a means of virtue, uncI more: it is it
elf virtue, 
dependent however on participation. Friendshil) can only exist 
between the virtuous, as the ancients said. But it cannot be 
based on perfect similarity; on the contrary, it requires diversitJ, 
for frienclshi.p rests on a desire for self-conlpletion. One friend 
obtains through the other what he does not himself possess. 
The virtues of the one atone for the failings of the other. 

Friend justifies friend before God. However faulty a lllan may 
be, it is a proof that there is a germ of good in hiIn if he has 
worthy men for his friends. If I cannot be myself perfect, I 
yet at least love virtue, perfection in others. If therefore I 
am called to account for any sins, weaknesses and faults, I 
interpose as advocates, as mediators, the virtues of 111"Y friend. 
How barbarous, how unreasonable would it be to condemn me 


* With the Hindoos (Inst. of l\Ienu) he alone is "a perfect Dlan who 
consists of three united persons, his wife, himself, and hi::; son. For man 
and wife, and father and SOIl, are one." The Adam of the Old Testament 
also is incomplete without woman; he feels his need of her. But the Adam 
of the New Testament, the Christian, heavenly Adam, the Adalll who i
 
constituted with a view to the destruction of this world, has no longer 
any sexual impulses or functions. 
t "Hæ sane vires amicitiæ nlortis contemptum ingenerare . . . . . . . 
potuerunt: quibus pelle tantum venerationis, quantum DeOl'um immor.. 
talium ceremoniis debetur. Illis ellÎm publica salus, his privata continetur:' 
-Valerius Max. 1. iv. c.7. 



] 56 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


for sins which I doubtless have comn1Ítted, but which I have 
nlyself condenuled, in loving my friends, who are free from 
these sins! 
But if friendship and love, which themselves are only sub- 
jective realizations of the species, make out of singly Í1nperfect 
heing
 an at least relatively perfect whole, how much more do 
the sins and failings of individuals vanish in the species 
itself, which has its adequate existence only in the stun total 
of mankind, and is therefore only an object of reason! Hence 
the lamentation over sin is founel only where the human in- 
c1ividual regards hitnself in his individuality as a perfect, com- 
plete being, not needing others for the realization of the 
species, of the 110rfect luan; where instead of the consciousness 
of the species has been substituted the exclusive self-conscious- 
ness of the individual; where the individual does not recog- 
nise hinlself as a part of mankind, but iden tifies himself wi th the 
species, and for this reason makes his own sins, limits and 
weaknesses, the sins, limits and weaknesses of mankind in 
general. Nevertheless lnan cannot lose the consciousness of 
the species, for his self-consciousness is essentially united to his 
consciousness uf another than himself. 'Yhere therefore the 
species is not an object to him as a species, it will be an object 
to him as God. He supplies the absence of the idea of the 
species by the idea of God, as the being who is free froIn the 
limits and "
ants which oppress the individual, and, in his 
opinion (
ince he identifies the species with the individual), 
the species itself. But this perfect being, free from the limits 
of the individual, is nothing else than the species, which 
reveals the infinitude of its nature in this, that it is realized in 
infinitely numerous and various individuals. If all ll1en were 
absolutely alike, there would then certainly be no distinction 
between the race and the indiyidual. But in that case the 
existence of nlany men would be a pure superfluity; a single 
man would have achieved the ends of the species. In the one 
who enjoyed the happiness of existence, all would have had 
their complete substitute. 
Doubtless the es
ence of man is one; Lut this essence is 
infinite; its real existence is therefore an infinite, reL:ipro- 
cally coml)ensating variety, which reveals the riches of this 
essence. Unity in essence is multi1)licity in existence. Be- 
tween file and another hunlan lreing-nnd this other is the 
representative of the species, even though he is only one, for 



CHRISTIANITY AND HEATHEKIS
I. 


157 


he supplies to nle the want of lllal1Y others, 11as for me a 
universal significance, is the deputy of mankind, in whose 
nmue he speaks to me, an isolated individual, so that, when 
united only with one, I have a participated, a hunlan life;- 
between 111e and another human being there is an essential, 
qualitative distinction. The other is my thou,-the re- 
lation being reciprocal,-my alter ego, man objective to me, 
the revelation of my own nature, the eye seeing itself. In 
another I first have the consciousness of humanity; through 
him I first learn, I first feel, that I anl a man: in my love for 
him it is first clear to me that he belongs to me and I to him, 
that we two cannot be without each other, that only com- 
munity constitutes humanity. But morally, also, there is a 
qualitative, critical distinction between the I and thon. 

Iy fellow-nlan is my objective conscience; he makes my 
failings a reproach to me, even when he does not expressly 
mention them,.. he is my personified feeling of shame. 
The consciousness of the III oral law, of right, of propriety, of 
truth itself, is indissolubly united with my consciousness 
of another than myself. That is true in which another 
agrees with me,-agreement is the first criterion of truth; but 
only because the species is the ultimate measure of truth. 
That which I think only according to the standard of nlY 
individuality, is not binding on another, it can be conceived 
otherwise, it is an accidental, merely subjective view. But 
that which I think according to the standard of the species, 
I think as man in general only can think, and consequently itS 
every individuallllust think if he thinks normally, in accordanc
 
with law, and therefore truly. That is true whieh agrees ",,'ith 
the nature of the species, that is false which contradicts it. 
There is no other rule of truth. But Iny fellow-man is to n1e 
the representative of the species, the substitute of the rest, nay 
his judgment nlay be of nlore authority with me than the 
judgnlent of the innumerable multitude. Let the fanatic 
make disciples as the sand on the sea-shore; the sand is 
still sanrl; n1Ïne be the pearl-á judicious friend. The 
agreement of others is therefore my criterion of the normal- 
ness, the universality, the truth of my thoughts. I cannot so 
abstract myself fronl myself as to judge myself with perfect 
freedom and disinterestedness; but another has an impartial 
judgment; through him I correct, conlplete, extend nlY own 
judgment, my own taste, my own knowledge. In short, 



]58 


THE ESSEKCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


there is a qualitative, critical difference between l11en. But 
Christianity extinguishes this qualitative distinction; it sets the 
sanle stamp on all men alike, and regards thel11 as one and the 
same individual, because it knows no distinction between the 
species and the individual: it has one and the same means 
of salvation for all men, it sees one and the same original 
sin in all. 
Because Christianity thus, from exaggerated subjectivity, 
knows nothing of the species, in whic}) alone lies the redemp- 
tion, the justification, the reconciliation and cure of the sins 
and deficiencies of the individual, it needed a. supernatural and 
l)eculiar, nay a personal, subjective aid in order to overcome 
sin. If I alone aln the species, if no other, that is, no qualita- 
tively different men exist, or, which is the same thing, if 
there is no distinction betweeen me and others, if we are all 
perfectly alike, if my sins are not neutralized by the opposite 
qualities of other men: then assuredly my sin is a blot of 
shame which cries up to heaven; a revolting horror which can 
be exterminated only by extraordinary, superhunlan, l11iraculous 
means. Happily, however, there is a natural reconciliation. 
]'Iy fellow-man is pet se, the lueùiator between me and the 
sacretl idea of the species. Hon
o honÛni Dells est. l\Iy sin is 
lllade to shrink within its limits, is thrust back into its nothing- 
ness, by the fact that it is only mine, and not that of my 
fellows. 



CELIBACY AXD 
IOXÅCHIS)I. 


159 


CHAPTER XVII. 


THE CHRISTIAN SIGNIFICANCE OF VOLUNTARY CELIBACY 
AND l\IONACHISl\I. 


THE idea of man as a species, and with it the significance of 
the life of the species, of humanity as a whole, vanished as 
Christianity becalne dominant. Herein we have a new con- 
firmation of the position advanced, that Christianity does not 
contain within itself the principle of culture. \Vhere man 
immediately identifies the species with the individual, and 
posits this identity as his highest being, as God, where the 
idea of humanity is thus an object to him only as the idea of 
Godhead. there the need of culture lIas vanished; man has all 
in himself, all in his God, consequently he has no need to 
supply his o"Wn deficiencies by others as the representatives of 
the species, or by the contenlplation of the world generally; 
and this need is alone the spring of culture. The individual 
man attains his encl by himself alone; he attains it in God,- 
God is himself the attained goal, the realized highest aim of 
humanity: but God is present to each individual separately. 
God only is the want of the Christian; others, the human race, 
the world, are not necessary to him; he has not the inward need 
of others. God fills to me the place of the species, of nlY fellow- 
men; yes, when I turn away from the world, when I am in 
isolation, I first truly feel my need of God, I first have a 
lively sense of his presence, I first feel what God is, and what 
he ought to be to nle. I t is true that the religious man has 
need also of fellowship, of edification in common; but this 
need of others is always in itself something extremely 
subordinate. The salvation of the soul is the fundamental 
idea, the main point in Christianity; and this salvation lies 
only in God, only in the concentration of the mind on Him. 
Activity for others is required, is a condition of salvation; but 
the grouncl of salvation is God, immediate reference in all 
things to God. And even activity for others has only a religious 
significance, has refel;ence only to God, as its motive and end, 



160 


THE ESSEN CE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


is essentially only an activity for God,-for the glorifying of 
his nan1e, the spreading abroad of his praise. But God is 
absolute subjectivity,-subjectivity separated from the world, 
above the world, set free fron1 matter, severed from the life of 
the species, and therefore from the distinction of sex. Separa- 
tion fi'om the world, from matter, from the life of the species, 
is therefore the essential aim of Christianitv.* And this aÏIll had 
its visible, practicall'ealization in J\Ionacl
ism. 
It is a self-delw
ion to attelnpt to derive monachism froll1 
the east. At least, if this derivation is to be accepted, they 
who maintain it should be consistent enough to derive the 
opposite tendency of Christendo1I1, not from Christianity, but 
from the spirit of the western nations, the occidental nature in 
general. But how, in that case, shall we explain the monastic 
enthusiasm of the ,vest? l\Ionachism must rather 1e derived 
directly from Christianity itself: it was a necessary consequence 
of the belief in heaven, promised to mankind by Christianity. 
"\Vhere the heavenly life is a truth, the earthly life is a lie; where 
imagination is all, reality is nothing. To hill1 who believes in 
an eternal heavenly life, the present life loses its value,-or 
loather, it has already lost its value: belief in the heavenly life 
is belief in the worthlessness and nothingness of this life. I 
cannot represent to ll1yself the future life without longing for 
it, without casting down a look of compa::5sion or cont81npt on 
this pitiable earthly life, and the heavenly life can be no object, 
no law of faith, without, at the saIne time, being a law of morality: 
it must detel1Iline my actions, t at least if my life is to be in 
accordance with my faith: I ought not to cleave to the tran- 
sitory things of this earth. I ought not ;-but neither do I 
u.:ish; for what are all things here below compared with the 
glory of the heavenly life ?:1: 


* "The life for God is not this natural life, which is subject to decay. 
. . . . . Ought we not then to sigh after future things, and be averse to all 
these temporal things P . . . . Wherefore we should find consolation in 
hem'tily despising this life and this world, and from our hearts sigh for and 
desil'e the future honour and glory of eternal life. .. -Luther (Th. i. s. 466, 
467). 
t "Eo dirigendus est spiritus, quo aliquando est iturus."-lVleditat. 
Sacræ .J oh. Gerhardi. l\Ied. 46. 
t "Affectanti cælestia, terrena non sapiunt. Æternis inh.ianti, fastidio 
sunt transitoria. " -Bernard. (Epist, Ex persona Heliæ monachi ad parentes). 
"Kihil nosh'a rcfert in hoc ævo, nisi de eo quam celeriter exccdere."-Ter- 
tullian (Apol. adv. Gentes, c. 41). "1Vherefore a Chri::;tian man should 



CELIBACY AND MONACHIS
I. 


161 


It is true that the quality of that life depends on the quality, 
the nloral condition of this; but morality is itself determined 
hy the faith in eternal life. The Illorality corresponding to the 
super-terrestrial life is sinlply separation from the world, the 
negation of this life: anel the practical attestation of this spi- 
ritual se!)aration is the monastic life.* Everything must ulti- 
mately take an external form, 111ust present itself to the sense
. 
An inward disposition must become an outward practice. The 
life of the cloister, indeed ascetic life in general, is the heavenly 
life as it is realized and can be realized here below. If my 
soul belongs to heaven, ought I, nay, can I bdong to the 
earth ,yith my body? The soul animates the body. But if 
the soul is in heaven, the body is forsaken, dead, and thus the 
meùÌlul1, the 'organ of connexion between the world and the 
soul is annihilated. Death, the separation of the soul from 
the body, at least fronl this gross, material, sinful body, is the 
entrance into heaven. But if death is the condition of bless- 
edness and n10ral perfection, then necessarily nlortification is 
the one la,v of morality. 
Ioral death is the necessary antici- 
pation of natural death; I say necessary, for it would be the 
extreme of immorality to attribute the obtaining of heaven to 
physical death, which is no moral act, but a natural one com- 
nlon to Ilian and the brute. Death must therefore be exalted 
into a moral, a spontaneous act. "I die daily," says the 
apostle, and this dictum Saint Anthony, the founder of mona- 
chism, t made the thenle of his life. 
But Christianity, it is contended, denlanded only a spiritual 
freedonl. True; but what is that spiritual freedom which does 
not pass into action, which does not attest itself in practice? 
Or dost thou believe that it only depends on thyself, on thy 
will, on thy intention, whether thou be free from anything? 
II so, thou art greatly in error, and hast never experienced 
what it is to be truly lIlacle free. So long as thou art in a 


rather be advised to bear sickness with patience, yea, even to desire that 
death should come,-the sooner the better. For, as St. Cyprian says, 
nothing is more for the advantage of a Christian, than soon to die. But 
we rather listen to the pagan .J uvenal, when he says: 'Orandum est ut sit 
mens sana in corpore sano.' "-Luther (Th. iv. s. 15). 
::)I: "Ille perfectus est qui mente et c.orpore a seculo est elongatus." - De 
1\T odo bene Vivendi ad Sororem, s. vii. (Among the spurious writings of 
St. Bernard.) 
t On this subject see" Hieronymus, de Vita Pauli primi Eremitæ." 



]62 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


given rank, profession, or relation, so long art thou, willingly 
or not, determined by it. Thy will, thy determination, frees 
thee only from conscious limitations and Ì1npressions, not fron1 
the unconscious ones which lie in the nature of the case. Thus 
,ve do not feel at hOlne, we are under constraint, so long as we 
are not locally, physically separated from one with whom we 
l1ave inwardly broken. External freedolll is alone the full 
truth of spiritual freedom. A man who has really lost spiritual 
interest in earthly treasures, soon throws thmn out at window, 
that his heart may be thoroughly at liberty. vVhat I no longer 
possess by inclination is a burden to me; so away with it! 
'Vhat affection has let go, the hand no longer holds fast. Only 
affection gives force to the grasp; only affection makes pos- 
session sacred. He who having It wife is as though he had her 
not, will do better to have no wife at all. To have as though 
one had not, is to have without the disposition to have, is in 
truth not to have. And therefore he who says, that one ought 
to have a thing as though one had it not, merely says in a 
subtle, covert, cautious way, that one ought not to have it at 
all. That ,vhich I dislniss from my heart is no longer mine,- 
it is free as air. St. Anthony took the resolution to renounce 
the ,vorId when he had once heard the saying,-" If thou wilt 
be perfect, go thy way, sell that thou hast and give to the 
poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come and 
follow me:' St. Anthony gave the only true interpreta60n of 
this text. He went his way, and sold his possessions, and gave 
the proceeds to the poor. Only tlllU; did he prove his spiritual 
freedom from the treasures of this world.* 
Such freeclom, such truth, is certainly in contradiction with 
the" Christianity of the present day, according to which the 
Lord has requirecl only a spiritual freedom, i. e., a freedom 
which demands no sacrifice, no energy, an illusory, self- 
deceptive fi'eedoll1 ;-a freedolll from earthly good, which con- 
sists in its possession and enjóyment! For certainly the 
I.lord said, "l\Iy yoke is easy." How harsh, how unreasonable 
would Christianity be, if it exacted from man the renunciation 


* Naturally, Christianity had only such power when, as Jerome 
writes to Demetrius, Domini nosh'i adhnc calebat cruor et fervebat recens 
in credpntibus fides. See also on this subject G. Arnold.- T
on der ersten 
Cltristen Geniigswnkeit u. Versckmähung alles Eigennutzes, 1. c. B. iv. c. 
12, S 7-
 16. 



CELIBACY AND MONACHIS:\L 


163 


of earthly riches! Then assured]y Christianity would not be 
suited to this world. So far from this, Christianity is in the 
highest degree practical and judicious; it deters the freeing 
oneself froln the wealth and pleasures of this world to the 
moment of natural death; (monkish mortification is an un- 
christian suieide )-and allots to our sl)ontaneous activity the 
acquisition and enjoyment of earthly possessions. Genuine 
Christians do not indeed doubt the truth of the heavenly life, 
-God forbid! Therein they still agree with the ancient 
monks; but they await that life l)atiently, submissive to the 
will of God, i. e., to their own selfishness, to the agreeable 
pursuit of worldlyenjoyment.* But I turn away with loath- 
ing and conten1pt ti.OIll modern Christianity, in whieh the bride 
of Christ readily acquiesces in polygamy, at least in succes- 
sive polygamy, and this in the eyes of the true Christian 
does not essentially differ from contemporaneous polygamy; 
but yet at the sallle till1e-oIJ! shmneful hypocrisy!-swears 
by the eternal, universally binding, irrefragaLle, sacred truth 
of God's word. I turn back with reverence to the miscon- 
ceived truth of the chaste monastic cell, where the soul 
betrothed to heaven did not allow itself to be wooed into 
faithlessness by a strange, earthly body! 
The unworldly, supernatural life is essentially also an un- 
married life. The celibate lies already, though not in the forn1 
of a law, in the inmost nature of Christianity. This is suf- 
ficiently declared in the supernatural origin of the Saviour,- 
a doctrine in \vhich unspotted virginity is hallowed as the 
saving lwinciple, as the principle of the new, the Christian 
world. Let not such passages as, "Be fruitful and multiply," 
or, "\Yhat God has joined together let not man put asunder," 
be urged as a sanction of marriage. The first passage relates, 
as Tertullian and Jerome have already observed, only to the 
unpeopled earth, not to the earth when filled with lnen, only to 
the beginning not to the end of the world, an end which was 


* How far otherwise the ancient Christians! "Difficile, imo impossibile 
est, ut et præsentibus quis et futuris fruatur bonis."-Hierollymus (Epist. 
Juliano). " Dclicatus es, frater, si et hic vis gaudere cum seculo et postea 
regnare cum Christo."-Ib. (Epist. ad Heliodorum). "Y e wish to have both 
God and the creature together, and that is impossible. Joy in God and joy 
in the creature cannot subsist together."-Tauler (ed. c. p. 334). But they 
werp abstract Christians. And we live now in the age of conciliation. 
Yes, truly! 



164 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIA
ITY. 


initiated by the imnlediate appearance of God upon earth. 
And the second also refers only to marriage as an institution 
of the 01<1 Testament. Certain J ew
 proposed the question- 
whether it were la-wful for a man to separate from his wife; and 
the most appropriate way of dealing with this question was the an- 
s\ver above cited. He who has once concluded a nutrriage ought 
to hold it sacred. :ßlarriage is intrinsically an indulgence to 
the \veakness or rather the strength of the flesh, an evil which 
therefore must be restricted as much as possible. The indis- 
solubleness of marrIage is a n iJ1tbns, a sacrecl irracliance, which 
expresses precisely the opposite of what minds, dazzlecl and 
perturbed by its lustre, f:,eek beneath it. )Iarriage in itself is, 
in the sense of perfected Christianity, a sin, * or rather a weak- 
ness, which is permitted and forgiven thee only on condition 
that thou for ever linlÌtest thyself to a single wife. In short, 
marriage is hallowed only in the Old Testament, but not in the 
New. The New Testalnent knows a higher, a supernatural 
principle, the mystery of unspotted virginity.t "He who can 
receive it let him receive it." "The children of this wor]d 
marry, and are given in marriage: but they which shall be 
accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection 
from the dead, neither Jnarry nor are given in marriage: 
neither Can they die any more: for they are equal unto the 
angels; and are the children of God, being the children of 
the resurrection." Thus in heaven there is no marriage; the 
principle of sexual love is e'(cludecl froln heaven as an earthly, 
worldly principle. But the heavenly life is the true, perfected, 
eternal life of the Christian. \Vhy then should I, who am 
destined for heaven, form a tie which is unloosed in my true 
destination? 'Vhy should I, who anl potentially a heavenly 
being, not realize this possibility even here?t 1\Iarriage is 
already proscribed from my mind, my heart, since it is expelled 


* "Perfectum autem eSRe nolle delinquere est."-Hieronymus (Epist. ad 
Heliodorum de laude Vitæ solit.). Let n1e observe once for all that I 
interpret the biblical passages concerning marriage in the sense in which 
they have been interpreted by the history of Christianity. 
t "The marriage state is nothing' new or unwonted, and is lauded and 
held good even by heathens accorùing to the judgment of reason."- 
Luther (Th. ii. p. 377a). 
t "Præsumendmn est hos qlli intra Paradisum recipi volunt debere ces- 
sare ab ea re,aqua paradisus intactus est."-Tertullian(de Exhort. cast, c.13). 
"Cælibatm;angelorumesthnitatio." -J o. Dama:sceni(Orthod. Fidci,l.iv. c. 25). 



CELIBACY AND MON ACHIS1\I. 


165 


from heaven, the essential object of my faith, hope, and life. 
How can an earthly wife have a l)lace in my heaven-filled 
heart? H ow can I divide my heart between God anù man ?* 
The Christian's love to God ls not an abstract or general love 
such as the love of truth, of justice, of science; it is a love to 
a subjective, personal God, and is therefore fI subjective, per- 
sonallove. It is an essential attribute of this love that it is 
an exclusive, jealous love, for its ohject is a personal and at the 
sanle time the highest being, to WhOIIl no other can be conl- 
l)Hred. "Keep close to Jesus [Jesus Christ is the Christian's 
God], in life and in death; trust his faithfulness: he alone 
can help thee, when all else leaves thee. Thy beloved has this 
quality, that he will suffer no rival; he. alone will have thy 
heart, will rule alone in thy soul as a king on his throne." 
-" 'Vhat can the world profit thee without Jesus? To be 
without Christ is the pain of hell; to be with Christ, heavenly 
sweetness."-" Thou canst not live without a frienù: but if 
the friendship of Christ is not more than all else to thee, thou 
wilt be beyond measure sad and disconsolate."-" Love every- 
thing for Jesus' sake, but Jesus for his own sake. Jesus 
Christ alone is worthy to be loved."-" 1\Iy God, lIlY love [my 
heart] : Thou art wholly mine, anù I am ,vholly Thine."- 
"Loye hopes and trusts ever in God, even when God is not 
gracious to it [or tastes bitter, non sapitJ; for we cannot live 
in love without sorrow. . . . . For the sake of the beloved, the 
loving one must accept all things, even the hard and bitter."..-- 
" 1\1 Y God anù my All . . . . In Thy presence everything is sweet 
to me, in Thy absepce everything is distasteful.... \Vithout 
Thee nothing can please me."-" 0 when at last will that 
blessed, longed-for hour appear, ,vhen Thou wilt satisfy nle 
,vholly, and be all in all to me ? So long as this is not granted 
-me, nlY joy is only fragnlentary."-" "\Vhen was it well with me 
without Thee? or when was it ill witÞ. me in Thy presence? 
I will rather be poor for Thy sake, than rich ,vithout Thee. 
I will rather be a pilgrim on earth with Thee, than the pos- 
sessor of heaven without Thee. "\Vhere Thou art is heaven; 
death und hell where Thou art not. I long only for Thee."- 
"Thou canst not serve God and at the same time have thy 


::)I: "Qnæ non nubit, soli Deo dat operam et ejus cnra non diyiditur; 
plldica antem, quæ nupsit, vitanl cum Deo et cum marito dividit."- 
Clemens Alex. (Pædag. 1. ü.). 



166 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


joys in earthly things: thou must wean thyself from all ac- 
quaintances and friends, and sever thy soul froln all telnpofal 
consolation. Believers in Christ should regard themselves, 
according to the ftChnollition of the Apostle Peter, only as 
strangers and pilgrims on the earth."* Thus, love to God as 
a personal being is a literal, strict, personal, exclusive love. 
How then can I at once love God and a mortal wife? Do 
I not thereby place God on the :same footing with my wife? 
No! to a soul which truly loves God, the love of woman is an 
im11ossibility, is adultery. "He that is unn1arried." says the 
apostle Paul, "careth for the things that belong to the Lord, 
ho\v he Juay please the Lord; but he that is married careth for 
the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife." 
The true Christian not only feels no need of culture, because 
this is a worldly lwinciple and opposed to feeling; he has also 
no need of (natural) love. God supplies to him the want of 
culture, anù in like 111anner God supplies to him the want of 
love, of a wife, of a family. The Christian immediately iden- 
tifies the species with the individual; hence he strips off the 
difference of sex as a burdensome, accidental adjunct.t 1\1 an 
and wonHtn together first con
titute the true man, man and 
woman together are the existence of the race ;-for their union 
is the source of multiplicity, the source of other men. Hence 
the man who does not deny his manhood, is conscious that he 
is only a part of a being, which needs another part for the 
making up of the whole, of true lnunanity. The Christian, 
on the contrary, in his excessive, transcendental subjectivity, 
conceives that he is, by hinu;elf. a perf
ct being. But the 
sexual instinct runs counter to this view; it is in contra- 
dietion with his ideal: the Christian must therefore deny this 
instinct. 
The Christian certainly experiencecl the neeù of sexual love, 
but only as a need in contradiction with his heavenly desti- 
nation, and merely natural, in the depreciatory, contemptuous 


* ThOlnas à Kempis de Imit. (1. ii. c. 7, c. 8, 1. iii. c. 5, c. 34, c. 53, c. 59). 
"Felix illa cOllscielltia et beata virginitas, in cujus cord" præter amorem 
Christi . . . . . . llullus alius versatur amor."-Hieronymus (DemetÚadi, 
Virgini Deo consecratæ). 
t "Divisa est . . . . mulier et virgo. Vide quantæ felicitatis sit, quæ et 
nomen sexus amiserit. Virgo jam mulier non vocatur."-Hieronymus (adv. 
Helvidium de pel'pet. Virgo p. 14. T. li. Erasmus). 



CELIBACY AND MON ACHIS::\I. 


167 


sense which this word had in Christianity,-not as a moral, 
in,vard need, not, if I may so express myself, as a metaphy- . 
sical, i.e., an essential neeel, ,vhich nUln can experience only 
where he does not separate difference of sex from himself, but 
on the contrary regards it as belonging to his Ì111110st nature. 
Hence marriage is not holy in Christianity; at least it is so 
only apparently, illusively; for the natural principle of Inar- 
riage, which is the love of the sexes,-however civil n1arriage 
may in endless instances contradict this,-is in Christianity an 
unholy thing, anù excluded from heaven.* But that which 
man excludes froIl1 heaven, he exdudes from his true nature. 
Heaven is his treasure-casket. Believe not in what he esta- 
blÜ,hes on earth, what he penl1its and sanetions here: here he 
must accon1modate himself; here many things come athwart 
him whieh do not fit into his systelI1; here he shuns thy 
glance, for he finds himself among strangers who intinÜdate 
hinl. But watch for hÌ1n when he throws off his incognito, 
and shows himself in his true dignity, his heavenly state. In 
heaven he speaks as he thinks; there thou hearest his true 
opinion. 'Yhere his heaven is, there is his heart,-heaven is 
his heart laid open. Heaven is nothing but the idea of the 
true, the good, the valid,-of that which ought to be; earth, 
nothing but the idea of the untrue, the unlawful, of that which 
ought not to be. The Christian exeIudes from heaven the life 
of the species: there the species ceases, there dwell only pure 
sexless individuals, " spirits;" there absolute subjectivity reigns: 
-thus the Christian excludes the life of the species from his 


:Ie This may be expressed as follows: l\Iarriage has in Christianity only 
a moral, no religious gignificance, no religious principle and exemplar. It 
is otherwise with the Greeks, where, for example, "Zeus and Here are the 
great archetype of every marriage" (Creuzer, SymboL); with the ancient 
Parsees, where procreation, as "the multiplication of the human race, is the 
diminution of the f'mpire of Ahriman," and thus a religious act and duty 
(Zend-Ayesta); with the Hindoos, where the son is the regenerated father. 
Among the Hindoos no regenerate man could assume the rank of a Sany- 
assi, that is, of an anchorite absorbed in God, if he had not previously paid 
three debts, one of which was that he had had a legitimate son. AmollO'st 
the Christians on t.he contrary, at least the Catholics, it was a true festi
al 
of religious rejoicing when betrothed or even married persons-supposing 
that it happened with mutual consent-renounced the ll1arried state and 
sacrificed conjugal to religious love. 



168 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


conception of the true life; he pronounces the principle of 
marriage sinful, negative; for the sinless, positive life is the 
heavenly one.* 


=1= Inasmuch as the religious consciousness restores everything which it 
begins by abolishing, and the future life is ultimately nothing else than 
the present life re - established, it follows that sex must be re - esta- 
blished. "Erunt . . . . . similes angelorum. Ergo homines non desinent 
. . . . ut apostolus apostolus sit et l\Iaria l\Iaria."-Hieronymus (ad Theo- 
doram Viduam). But as the body in the other world is an incorporeal 
body, so necessarily the sex there is one without difference, i.e., a sexle::;s sex. 



THE CHRISTIAN HEAVEN. 


]69 


OR.APTER X'VIII. 


THE CHRISTIAN HEAVEN OR PERSONAL I::\I::\IORTALITY. 


THE unwedded and ascetic life is the direct way to the heavenly, 
inlnlortal life, for heaven is nothing else than life liberated 
from the conditions of the species, supernatural, sexless, abso- 
lutely subjective life. The belief in personal immortality has at 
its foundation the belief that difference of sex is only an ex- 
ternal adjunct of individuality, that in hÏ1nself the individual 
is a sexless, independently complete, absolute being. But he 
who belongs to no sex, belongs to no species; sex is the cord 
which connects the individuality with the species, and he who 
bplongs to no species, belongs only to hiInself, is an altogether 
independent, divine, absolute being. Hence only when the 
species vanishes from the consciousness is the heavenly life a 
certainty. He who lives in the consciousness of the species, 
and consequently of its reality, lives also in the consciousness 
of the reality of sex. He does not regard it as a mechanically 
inserted, adventitious stone of stumbling, but as an inherent 
quality, a chelnical constituent of his being. He indeed re- 
cognises himself as a man in the broader sense, but he is 
at the same tÌ1ne conscious of being rigorously determined by 
the sexual distinction, which penetrates not only bones and 
marrow, but also his inn10st self, the essential nlode of hi
 
thought, will, and sensation. He therefore who lives in the 
consciousness of the species, who lÍInits and determines his 
feelings and imagination by the contemplation of real life, of 
real man, can conceive no life in which the life of the species 
and therewith the distinction of sex is abolished; he regards 
the sexless individual, the heavenly spirit, as an agreeable 
figment of the ÍInagination. 
But just as little as the real man can abstract himself froln 
the distinction of sex, so little can he abstract himself froIn 
his moral or spiritual constitution, which indeed is profoundly 
connected with his natural constitution. Precisely because he 
lives in the conten1plation of the whole, he also "'lives in the 
consciousness that he is hÌ111self no more than a part, and that 
I 



]70 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


he is what he is only by virtue of the conditions which consti- 
tute him a member of the whole, or a relative whole. Every 
one, therefore, justifiably regards his occupation, his profession, 
his art or science, as the highest; for the mind of nlan is 
nothing but the essential nlode of his activity. He who is 
skilful in his profession, in his art, he who fills his l)ost well, 
and is entirely devoted to his calling, thinks that calling the 
highest and best. How can he deny in thought, what he em- 
phatically declares in act by the joyful devotion of all his 
l)owers? If I despise a thing, how can I dedicate to it my 
tinle and faculties? If I anl conlpelled to do so in slÜte of 
my aversion, my activity is an unhappy one, for I am at war 
with myself. 'V ork is .worship. But how can I worship or 
serve an object, how can I subject myself to it, if it does not 
hold a high l)lace in nlY n1Ïnd? In brief, the occupations of 
nlen determine their judgnlent, their mode of thought, their 
sentiments. And the higher the occupation, the more conl- 
pletely does a man identify hinlself with it. In general, what- 
ever a man makes the essential aim of his life, he proclaims to 
be his soul; for it is the prineiple of motion in him. But 
through his aim, through the activity in which he realizes this 
aÎln, lllan is not only something for himself, but also some- 
thing for others, for the general life, the species. He there- 
fore who lives in the consciousness of the s})ecies as a reality, 
regards his existence for others, his relation to society, his 
utility to the public, as that existence which is one with the 
existence of his own essence-as his in1mortal existence. He 
lives with his whole soul, with his whole heart, for humanity. 
How can he hold in reserve a special existence for himseÌf: 
how can he separate hÎlllself fron1 nlallkind? IIow shall he 
deny in death what he has enforced in life? And in life his 
faith is this: Nee sibi scd tvti genitll1J
 se credere 1JlZl1Hlo. 
The heavenly life, or what we do not here distinguish from 
it-personal immortality, is a characteristic doctrine of Chris- 
tianity. It is certainly in part to he found 
nnong the heathen 
})hilosophers; but with them it had only the significance of a 
subjectiye conce})tion, hecause it was not connected with their 
fundamental view of things. How contradictory, for exrunple, 
are the expressions of the t;toics on this subject! It was among 
the Christians that personal ÎInmortality first found that prin- 
ciple, whence it follows as fI necessary nnd obvious conse- 
quence. The contemplation of the world, of K ature, of the 



THE CHRISTIAN HEA YEN. 


]71 


race, was always con1Ïng athwart the ancients; they distin- 
guished between the principle of life and the living subject, 
between the ::;oul, the n1Índ, and self: wherea
 the Cllristian 
abolished the distinction between soul and person, species and 
individual, and therefore pI need inlmediatelyin self what belongs 
only to the totality of the species. But the immediate unity of 
the species and individuality, is the highest principle, the God 
of Christianity,-in it the in<liviclunl ha
 the significance of the 
absolute being,-and the necessary, immanent (jon
equence of 
this principle is personal inunortality. 
Or rather: the belief in personal immortality is perfeetly 
identical with the belief in H personal God ;-i. e., that which 
exprebses the helief in the heavenly, immortal life of the person, 
expresses God also, as he is an object to Christians, nmnely, 
as a1:,olute, unlinlÌted personality. Unlimited personality is 
God; but heavenly per:-;onality, or the pe11)etuation of lUllnan 
personality in heaven, i
 nothing else than personality released 
from all earthly encumbrances and lÍ1nitations; the only dis- 
tinction is, that God is heaven spiritualized, while heaven is 
God lllaterialized, or reduced to the fornls of the senses: that 
what in God is posited only in abstracto is in heaven l110re an 
object of the Ílnagination. Goel is the implicit heaven; heaven 
is the explicit God. In the })resent, God is the kingdom 
of heaven; in the future, heaven is God. God is the pledge, 
the as yet abstract presence and existence of heaven; the anti- 
cipatiol1, the epitome of heaven. Our own future existence, 
which, while we are in this world, in this body, is a separate, 
objective existence,-is GOll: God is the idea of the species, 
which will be first realized, individualized in the other \yorId. 
God is the heavenly, pure, free essence, which exists there as 
heavenly pure beings, the bliss which there unfolds itself in a 
plenitude of blissful individuals. Thus God is nothing else 
than the idea or the essence of the absolute, blessed, heavenly 
life, here cOl11prised in an ideal personality. This is clearly 
enough expressed in the belief that the blessed life is unity 
with God. Here we are distinguished and separated from God, 
there the partition fn1ls; here we are Inen, there gods; here the 
Godhead is a monopoly, there it is a common possession; here 
it is an abstract unity, there a concrete multiplicity.*" 


:)I: "Bene dicitur, quod tunc plene videbimus eum sicuti est, cum similes 
ei erimus, h. e. erimus quod ipse e::;t. Quibus eninl potestas data est filios 
I 2 



]72 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


The only difficulty in the recognition of this is created by 
the Ünagination, which, on the one hand by the conception 
of the personality of God, on the other by the conception of 
the lnany personalities 'which it places in a realnl ordinarily 
depicted in the hues of the senses, hides the real unity of the 
idea. But in truth there is no distinction between the absolute 
life which is conceived as God and the absolute life which is 
conceived as heaven, save that in heaven we have stretched into 
length and breadth what in God is concentrated in one point. 
The belief in the imnlortality of lllan is the belief in the clh-inity 
of man, and the belief in God is the belief in pure person- 
ality, released fronl all lin1Ïts, and consequently eo ,ipso 
iInmortal. The distinctions made between the illllnOl'tal soul 
and God are either sophistical or imaginative; as when, for 
exnnlple, the bliss of the inhabitants of heaven is again circunl- 
scribed bJ limits, and distributed into degrees, in order to 
establish a distinction between God and the dwellers in heaven. 
The identity of the divine and heavenly personality is appa- 
rrnt even in the popular proofs of iUlnlortality. If there is not 
another and a better life, God is not just and good. The jus- 
tice and goodness of God are thus Iunde dependent on the 
perpetuity of individuals: but without justice and goodness 
God is not God ;-the Goùhead, the existence of G ad, is there- 
fore lnade dE'pendent on the existence of individuals. If I aIll 
not Ünmortnl, I believe ill no God; he who denies inlmortality, 
denies Goel. But that is impossible to me: as surely as there 
is a God, so sUfE'ly is there an imnlortality. God is the cer- 
tainty of my future felicity. The interest I have in knowing 
that God is, is one with the interest I have in knowing that I 
am, that I anl inl1110rtal. God is my hidden, 111Y assured exist- 
ence; he is the subjectivity of subjects, the personality of 
persons. How then should that not belong to persons which 
belongs to personality? In God I lllake my future into u. 


Dei fieri, data est potestas, nOll quic1em ut sint Deus, sed sint tam en quod 
Deus est: sint sallcti, futuri plene beati, quod Deus est. Nee aliunde hic 
saneti, nec ibi futuri bcati, quam ex Deo qui eorum et sanctitaR et beatitudo 
est."-De Vita solitaria (among the spurious writings of St. Bernard). 
"Finis auh'm bonæ voluntati::; beatitudo est: vita æterna ipse Deus."-Angus- 
tin. (ap. Petru8 Lomb. 1. ii. di::;t. 38, c. 1). "The other man will be reno- 
vated in the spiritual life, i. e. will become a spiritual man, when he shall 
ùe rc::;tored into the image of Goù. }'or he will be like God, in life, in 
righteousnc::;s, glory, and wisdolll."-Luther (T. i p. 321). 



TIlE CHRISTIAN REA YEN. 


173 


present, or rather a verb into a sub
tantive; how should I 
separate tbe Ol1e fi'OUl the other? U-od is the existence corre- 
sponding to my .wishes and feelings: he is the just one, the good, 
who fulfils III V wishes, Nature, this world, is an existence 
which contracÌicts nlY wishes, my feelings. Here it is Hot as 
it ought to be; this world passes away: but God is existence 
as it ought to be. God fulfils nlY wishes ;-this is only a popular 
personification of the position: God is the fulfiller, i, e., the 
reality, the fulfihnent of Iny wishes.* But heaven is the exi
t- 
ence "'ade<llHtte to nlY wish
s, Iny longing; t thus, there is no 
distinction between God and heaven. Goel is tbe power by 
"hidl nlan realizes his ete111al happiness; God is the absolute 
personality in which all individual persons have the certainty 
of their bles
edness and imulortality; God is to subjectivity the 
highest, last certainty of its absolu te truth and essentiality. 
The doctrine of inlmortality is the final doctrine of religion; 
its testament, in which it declares its last wishes. Here there- 
fore it speaks out undisguisedly what it has hitherto suppressed. 
If elsewhere the religious soul concerns itself with the existence 
of another being, here it openly considers only its own exist- 
ence; if elsewhere in religion nlan makes his existence de- 
})endent on the existence of God, he here Inakes the reality of 
G-od dependent on his own reality; and thus what elsewhere 
is a primitive, inlmediate truth to hÍln, is here a derivative, 
secondary truth: if I aIll not imlllortal, l}od is not God; if 
there is no iuul1ortality, there is no God ;-a conclubion already 
drawn by the apostl
 Paul. If we do not rise again, thcil 
Christ is not risen, and all is vain. Let us eat and drink. 
I t is certainly possihle to do away with what is apparently 
or really objectionable in the popular argumentation, byavoid- 
ing the inferential fonn; but this can only be ùone by luaking 
immortality an analytic instead of a synthetic truth, so a::, to 
show that the very idea of God as absolute personality or 


* "Si bOllllm est habere corpus incorruptibile, qual'e hoc facturmn Deum 
volumus desperare ?"-Augustinus (Opp. Antwerp. 1700. T. v. p. 698). 
t "Quare dicitur Rpiritale corpus, nisi quia ad nutum spiritus serviet? 
Nihil tibi contradicet ex te, nihil in to rebcllabit adversus to. . . . . Ubi 
volueriR, eris. . . . . Credere enim debemus talia corpora nos habituros, ut 
ubi velimuR, quando voluerimus, ibi simus."-AuguRtinus (1. c. p, 703,705). 
" Nihil indecorum ibi erit, summa pax erit, nihil discordans, nihil monstruo- 
sum, nihil quod offendat adspectum." (1. c. 707). "Nisi Leatus, non vivit ut 
vult." (De Civ. Dei, 1. 14, c. 25). 



] '7-t 


THE ESSE:NCE OF CHRISTIA1\ITY. 


subjectivity, is per se the idea of itumortality. God is the 
guarantee of my future existence, because he is already the 
certainty and reality of my present existence, nlY salvation, 
my trust, my shield from the forces of the external world; hence 
I need not expre::5sly deduce inlnlortality, or prove it as a 
separate truth, for if I have God, I have immortality also. 
Thus it was with the nlore profound Christian mystics; to 
thenl the idea of Ìlllmortality was involved in the idea of God; 
God was their inln10rtal life,-God hinlself their subjective 
blessedness: he was for them, for their consciousness, what he 
is in himself, that is, in the essence of religion. 
Thus it is shown that God is heaven; that the two nre 
identical. It would have been easier to prove the converse, 
namelv, that heaven is the true God of lu
n. As nlan con- 
ceives 'hi
 heaven, so he conceives his God; the content of his 
idea of heaven is the content of his idea of God, only that 
what in God is a 111ere sketch, a concept, is in heaven depicted 
and developed in the colours and forms of tht' sen::5e
. Heaven 
is therefore the key to the deepest mysteries of religion. 
As heaven is objectively the clisplaye(l nature of God, so 
subjectively it is the most candid declaration of the inmost 
thoughts and dispositions of religion. For this reason, religiong 
are as various as are the kingdonls of heaven, and there are as 
many different kingdonls of heaven a::5 there are characteristic 
differences among men. The Christians thelllselves have very 
heterogeneous conceptions of heaven. * 
The more judicious among thenl, however, think mlCl say 
nothing definite about heaven or the future world in general, 
on the ground that it is inconceivable, that it can only be 
thought of by us according to the standard of this world, a 
standard not applicable to the other. All conceptions of heaven 
here below are, they allege, mere images, whereby lnan repre- 
sents to hÏInself that future, the nature of whieh is unknown 
to hin1, but the existence of which is certain. It is just so 
with God. The existence of God, it is said, is certain; but 


* And their conceptions of God are just as heterogeneous. The pious 
Germans have a "German God," the pions Spaniards a Spani
h God, the 
Frpnch a French God. The French actually have the proverb: "Le bon 
Dieu est F,.ançais." In fact polytheism must exist so long as there are 
variolls nations. The real God of a peol)le is the lJui,.tt d' hoJtneur of its 
nationality. 



THE CHRISTIAN REA VEN. 


1 1-"" 
if) 


what he is, or how he exist
, is inscrutahle. TIut he who 
speaks thus, has already driven the future world out of his 
head; he still holds it Ütst, either because he does not think at 
all about such lnatters, or because it is still a want of his 
}Jeart; but, preoccupied with real thil1g:4, he thrusts it a::; far 
as possible out of his sight; he denies with his head what he 
affirnls 'with his heart; for it is to deny the future life, to 
depri ve it of the qualities, by which alone it is a real and 
effective object for I11an. Quality is not distinct froIn existellce; 
quality is nothing but real existence. Existence without 
quality is a chÜnera, a speetre. Exi::;tenee is first nutde 
known to I11e by quality; not existence first, and after that, 
qnality. The doctrines that God is not to be known or de- 
fined, and that the nature of the future life is inscrutahle, are 
therefore not originally religious doctrines: on the contrary, 
they are the products of irreligion while still in bondage 
to religion, or rather hiding itself behind religion; and they 
are so for this reason, that originally the existence of God is 
l)osited only with a definite conception of God, the existence 
of a future life only with a definite conception of that life. 
Thus to the {1hristian, only his own paradise, the paradise 
which ha
 Christian qualities, is a certainty, not the paradise 
of the 
IahoInetan or the Elysium of the Greeks. The 
primary certainty is everywhere quality; existence follows of 
course, when once quality is certain. In the New Testalllent 
we find no proofs, or general propositiuns such as: there is a 
God, there is a heavenly life; we find only qualities of the 
heavenly life a(hluced ;-" in heaven they Inarry DOt." N atu- 
rallv;-it mav be answered,-becanse the existence of God and 
of heayen is ol presupposed. But here reflection introl1uees a 
distinction of which the religious sentiment knows nothing. 
Douhtless the existence is presupposed, hut only because the 
quality is itself existence, because the inviolate religious 
feeling liyes only in the qunlity, just fiS to the natural nlo'11, 
the real existence, the thing in itself, lies only in the fluality 
whieh he pereeives. Thus in the pa::;sage ahoye cited from 
the New Testament, the virgin or rather sexle
s life is pre- 
supposed as the true life, whi
h, however, necessi.lrily becollles 
a future one, because the nctuo'llife contradicts the ideal of the 
true life. But the certainty of this future life lies onlv in the 
certainty of its qualities 
s those of the true, high
st life, 
adequate to the ideal. . 



176 


THE ESSE
CE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


'Yhere the future life is really believed in, where it is a cer- 
tain life, there, precisely because it is certain, it is also definite. 
If I know not now what and how I shall be; if there is an 
ehsential, absolute difference between lny future and IllY pre- 
sent; neither shall I then know what and how I was before, the 
unity of consciousnehs is at an end, personal identity is abolished, 
another being will appear in my place; and thus my future 
existence is not in fact distinguished from non-existence. If, 
on the other hand, there is no essential difference, the future 
is to me an object that may be defined and known. And so it 
is in reality. I anl the abiding subject under changing con- 
ditions; I am the substance which connects the present and 
tIle future into a unity. How then can the future be obsrure 
to lne? On the co
trarv, the life of this world is the dark, 
incomprehensible life, whleh oIlly becomes clear through the 
future life; here I am in disguise; there the mask will fall ; 
there I shall be as I HIn in truth. Hence the position that 
there indeed is another, a heavenly life, but that 1chat and how 
it is n1ust here renulÎn inscrutabl
, is only an invention of re- 
ligious scepticism which, being entirely alien to the religious 
sentilnent, proceeds upon a total Inisconception of religion. 
That which irreligious-religious reflection converts into a 
known inlage of an unknown yet certain thing, is originally, in 
the prin1itive, true sense of religion, not an image, but the 
thing itself. Unbelief, in the garb of belief, doubts the exist- 
ence of the thing, but it is too shallow or cowardly directly to 
('àll it in question; it only expres
es doubt of the ÌInage or 
conception, i. e., declares the ÌInage to be only an image. But 
the untruth and hollowness of this scepticism has been 
already made evident historically. \Yhere it is once doulJted 
that the images of immortality are real, that it is po
sible to 
exist as faith conceives, for exmnple, without a nutterial, real 
body, and without difference of sex; there the future exist- 
ence in general, is soon a Inatter of doubt. 'Vith the Ünage 
falls the thing, sinlply because the in1age is the thing itself. 
The belief in heaven, or in a future lifp in general, rests on 
a mental judgment. It expresses praise and blame; it selects 
a wreath fro III the Flora of this world,-and this critical flori- 
legium is heaven. That which lllan thinks beautiful, good, 
agreeabl
, is for hÜl1 what alone ought to be: that which he 
thinks bad, odious, disagreeable, is what ought not to be, antI 
hence, since it nevertheless exists, it i::; conclen1neù tu destruc- 



THE CHRISTIA
 HEAVEN. 


177 


tion. it is regarded as a negation. 'Ybere life is not in contra- 
diction witb a feeling, an Ünagination, an .idea, and where this 
feeling, this idea, is not held authoritative and absolute, the 
belief in another and a heavenly life does not arise. The future 
life is nothing else than life in unison with the feeling, with tbe 
idea, which the present life contradicts. The whole in1port of 
the future life is the abolition of this discordance, and the real- 
ization of a state whieh corresponds to the feelings, in which 
man is in unison with himself. An unknown, unÍ1nagined 
future is a ridiculous chin1era: the other world is nothing 
n10re than the reality of a known idea, the satisfaction of a 
conscious desire, the fulfilment of a wish;* it is only the re- 
moval of lÍ1nits which here oppose themselves to the realization 
of the idea. \Vhere would be the consolation, where the sig- 
nificance of a future life, if it were midnight darkness to Ine ? 
No! froln yonder world there streams upon me with the splen- 
dour of virgin gold, what here shines only with the dÜnness of 
unrefined ore. The future world has no other significance, 
no other basis of its existence, than the separation of 
the n1etal from tbe admixture of foreign elements, the se- 
paration of the good from the bad, of the pleasant frolH the 
unpleasant, of the praiseworthy from the blamable. The future 
worlel is the bridal in whieh lnan concludes his union with his 
beloved. Long has he loved his bride, long has he yearned 
after her; but external relations, hard reality, have stood in 
the way of his union to her. \Vhen the wedding takes 
plaee, his beloved one does not becon1e a different being; else 
how could he so ardently long for bel' ? Sbe only becomes 
his own; froln an object of )?earning and affectionate desire she 
becomes an object of actual possession. It is true that here 
below, the other world is only an in1age, a conception; still it 
is not the image of a remote, unknown tbing, but a portrait of 
that which man loves and prefers before all else. \Vhat n1fin 
loves is his soul. The heathens enclosed the ashes of the 
beloved dead in an urn; with the Christian the heavenlv future 
is the n1ausoleum in which he enshrines his Soul. 01 


* "lbi nostra spes erit res."-Augustin. "Therefore we have the first 
fruits of immortal life in hope, until perfection comes at the last day, where- 
in we shall see and feel the life we have believed in and hoped for."- 
Luther (Th. i. s. 459). 


I 3 



178 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


In order to conlprehend a particular faith, or religion in 
general, it is necessary to consider religion in its rudimentary 
stages, in its lowest, rudest condition. Religiun nnu;t nut only 
be traced in an ascending line, but surveyed in the entire 
course of its existence. It is requisite to regard the various 
earlier religions as present in the absolute religion, and not 
as left behind it in the past, in order correctly to appreciate 
and conlprehend the a.bsolute religion as well as the others. 
The most fiightfnl "aberrations," the wildest exce

es of the 
religious consciousness, often afford the }Jrofounclest insight 
into the mysteries of the absolute religion. Ideas seemingly 
the rudest are often only the nlost child-like, innocent and 
true. This observation applies to the conceptions of a future 
life. The" savage," whuse consciousness does not extend be- 
yond his own country, whose entire being is a growth of its 
soil, takes his country with him into the other world, either 
leaving Nature as it is, or improving it, and so overcoming in 
the idea of the other life the difficulties he experiences in this. * 
In this IÜnitation of uncultivated tribes there is a striking trait. 
'Vith them the future expresses nothing else than home- 
sickness. Death separates man from his kindred, from his 
})eople, from his country. But the Ulan who has not extended 
his consciousness, cannot endure this separation; he must 
come back again to his native land. The negroes in the 'Vest 
Indies killed themselves that they might come to life again in 
their father-land. And according to Ossian's conception" the 
spirits of those who die in a strange land float back towards 
their birth-place."t This IÌ1nitatÎol1 is the direct opposite of 
imaginative spiritualislll, which makes man a vagabond, who, 
indifferent even to the earth, roams fronl star to btar; and 
certainly there lies a real truth at its foundation. l\Ian is what 
he is through Nature, however much may belong to his spon- 
taneity; for even his spontaneity has its foundation in Nature, 
of which his particular character is only an expression. Be 


* According to old books of travel, however, there are many tribes which 
do not believe that the future is identical with the present, or that it is 
better, but that it is even worse. Parny (CEuv. chois. T. i. l\Ielang,) tells 
of a dying negro-slave, who refused the inauguration to immortality by 
baptism, in these worùs: "J e ne veux point d'une autre vie, car peut-être y 
serais-je encore votre esclave." 
t Ahlwardt (Ossian Anm. zu Carthonn.). 



THE CHRISTIAN REA VEN. 


179 


thankful to X ature ! ::\lan cannot be separated fronl it. The 
Gennan, whose God is spontaneity, owe
 his character to 
Nature just as lnuch as the oriental. To find fault with 
Indian art, .with Indian religion ànd philosophy, is to find 
fault with Indian N ature. You cOll1plain of the re,'iewer who 
tear8 a paSSi\ge in your works frolll the context that he may 
hand it over to ridicule. Why are you yourself guilty of that 
which you blanle in others? 'Yhy do you tear the Indian 
religion from its connexion, in which it is just as reasonable 
as your absolute religion? 
}'aith in a future world, in a life after death, is therefore with 
"savage" tribes essentially nothing more than direct faith 
in the present life - Îlnmediate unbroken faith in this life. 
For them, their actual life, even with its 10callÎlnitations, has 
all, has absolute value; they cannot abstract fronl it, they 
cannot conceive its being broken off; i.e., they believe directly 
in the infinitude, the perpetuity of this life. Only when the 
belief in immortality becOlnes a critical belief, when a distinc- 
tion is lnade betwee
 what is to be left behind here, and what 
is in reserve there, between what here passes away, and what 
there is to abide, does the belief in life after death fornl itself 
into the belief in another life; but this criticism, this distinction, 
is applied to the present life also. Thus the Christians dis- 
tinguish between the natural and the Christian life, the sensual 
or worldly and the spiritual or holy life. The heavenly life 
is no other than that which is, already here below, distinguished 
from the merely natural life, though still tainted with it. That 
which the Christian excludes frOIl1 hÏ111self now-for exanlple, 
the sexual life-is excluded froln the future: the only distinc- 
tion is, that he is there free fron1 that which he here wishes to 
be free from, and seeks to rid hÏ111self of by the will, by devo- 
tion, and by bodily mortification. Hence this life is, for the 
Christian, a life of torment and pain, because he is here still 
beset by a hostile power, and has to struggle with the lusts of 
the flesh and the assaults of the devil. 
The faith of cultured nations is therefore distinguished 
from that of the uncultured in the same way that cuJture in 
general is distinguished from in culture : namely, that the 
faith of culture is a discriminating, critical, abstract faith. A 
distinction implies a judgment; but where there is a judgment 
there arises the distinction between positive and negative. The 
faith of savage tribes is a faith without a judgment. Culture, 



180 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


on the contrary, judges: to the cultured man only cultured 
life is the true life; to the Christian only the Christian life. 
The rude child of Nature steps into the other life just as he is, 
without ceremony: the other world is hi
 natural nakedness. 
The cultivated Inan, on the contrary, objects to tbe idea of 
such an unbridled life after death, because even here he objects 
to the unrestricted life of nature. Faith in a future life is 
therefore only faith in the true life of the present; the 
essential elements of this life are also the essential elenlents of 
the other: accordingly, faith in a future life is not faith in 
another unkno,,,n life; Lut in the truth and infinitude, and 
consequently in the perpetuity, of that life which already here 
below is regarded as the authentic life. 


As God is nothing else than the nature of man purified from 
that which to the human indiyidual appears, whether in feeling 
or thought, a limitation, an evil; so the future life is nothing 
else than the present life, freed froln that ,,,hich appears a limit- 
ation or an evil. The Illore definitely and profoundly the indi- 
yiùual is conscious of the limit as a lin1Ït, of the evil as an evil, 
the more definite and profound is his conviction of the future life, 
where these lÏInits disappear. The future life is the feeling, 
the conception of freedoIll from those limits which here circum- 
scribe the feeling of self, the existence of the individual. The only 
difference between the course of religion and that of the natural 
or rational- nlan is, that the end which the latter arrives at by 
a straight line, the former only attains by describing a curveù 
line-a circle. The natural man remains at home because he 
finds it agreeable, because he is perfectly satisfied; religion 
which COlllnlences with a discontent, a disunion, forsakes its honle 
and travels far, but only to feel the Illore vividly in the distance 
the happiness of hOllle. In religion man separates himself 
froln hÜnself, but only to return always to the same POillt froln 
which he set out. l\Ian negatives himself, but only to posit 
himself again, and that in a glorified form: he negatives this life, 
but only, in the end, to posit it again in the future life.* The 


* There everything will be restored. "Qui modo vivit, erit, nec me vel 
dente, vel ungue fraudatum reVOlllet patefacti fossa seplùchri."-Aurelius 
Prude (Apotheos. de Resurr. Carnis hum.). And this faith, which you consi- 
der rude and carnal, and which you tllPre{ore disavow, is the only consistent, 
honest, and true faith. To the identity of the person belongs the identity of 
the body. 



THE CHRISTIAN REA VEY. 


181 


future life is this life once lost, but found again, and radiant 
with all the 1nore brightness for the joy of recovery. The 
religious man renounces the joys of this world, but only that 
he fifty win in return the joys of heaven; or rather he re- 
nounces them because he is already in the ideal possession of 
heavenly joys; and the joys of heaven are the same as those 
of earth, only that they are freed from the limits and con- 
trarieties of this life. Religion thus arrives, though by a circuit, 
at the very goal, the goal of joy, towards which the natural 
man hasten
 in a direct line. To live in images or sJnlbols, is 
the essence of religion. Religion Hacrifiees the thing itself to 
the image. The future life is the present in the mirror of the 
imagination: the enrapturing image is in the sense of religion 
the true type of earthly life,-real life only a gliInmer of tbat 
ideal, imaginary life. The future life is the present emùel- 
lished, cont81nplated through the imagination, pnrified from all 
gross matter; or, positively expressed, it is the beauteous present 
intensified. 
Embellislnnent, e1nendation, presupposes blame, dissatisfac- 
tion. But the dissatisfaction is only superficial. I do not 
deny the thing to be of yalue; just as it is, however, it does not 
please me; I deny only the 1110dification, not the substance, 
otherwise I should nrge annihilation. .A. house which aùso- 
lutely displeases 1ne I cause to be pulled down, not to be 
embellished. To the believer in a future life joy is agreeable- 
who can fail to be conscious that joy is something positive?- 
but it is disagreeable to him, that here joy is followed by 
opposite sensations, that it is transitory. Hence he places joy 
in the future life also, but as eternal, uninterrupted, divine joy, 
(and the future life is therefore called the .world of joy,) such as 
he here conceives it in God; for God is nothing but eternal, 
uninterrupted joy, posited as a subject. Individuality or per- 
sonality is agreeable to him, but only as unencumbered by 
objective forces; hence, he includes inc1iviùuality also, but pure, 
absolutely subjective individuality. Light pleases him; but 
not gravitation, because this appears a liInitation of the incli- 
vidual; not night, because in it man is subjected to Nature: 
in the other world, there is light, but no weight, no night,- 
pure, unobstructed light. * 


* "Keque enin1 post resurrectionem tempus diebus ac noctibus numera- 
bitur. Erit magis una dies sine vespere."-Joh. Damascen. (Orth. Fidei 
1. ii. c. 1). 



182 


THE ESSEXCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


..A.s man in bis utmost reinoteness fronl hÎ1nself, in Goel, 
always returns upon hÎ111self, always revolves round hÎ1nself; 
so in his utmost remoteness from the worlel, be always at htst 
COlnes back to it. The Inore extra-and supralnunan "'God ap- 
pears at the commencement, the more human does he show 
himself to ùe in the sub
equent course of things, or at the 
close: and just so, the Inore supernatural the heavenly life 
looks in the beginning or at a distance, the nlore clearly does 
it, in the end or when viewed closely, exhibit its iùentity with 
the naturallife,-an identity which at last extend
 eyen to the 
flesh, even to the body. "In the first instance the mind is 
occupied with the separation of the soul from the body, as in 
the conception of God the mind is first occupied with the 
separation of the essence froin the individual ;-the individual 
dies a spiritual death, the dead body which remains behind is 
the human individual; the soul which has departed from it is 
God. But the separation of the soul from the body, of the 
essence from the individual, of God froin nlan, must be abolished 
again. Every separation of beings essentially allied is pain- 
ful. The soul yearns after its lost. half, after its body; as God, 
the departed soul, yearns after the real man. As, therefore, 
God becomes a man again, so the soul returns to its body, and 
the perfect identity of this world and the other is now restored. 
It is true that this new body is a bright, glorified, miraculous 
body, but-and this is the Il1A.in point-it is another and yet 
the same body,* as Q-od is another being than man, and yet the 
san1e. Here we conle again to the idea of Iniracle, which unites 
contradictories. The supernatural body is a body constructed 
by the imagination, for which very reason it is adequate to the 
feelings of nlan; an unburdenson1e, purely subjective body. 
Faith in the future life is nothing ebe than faith in the truth 
of the imagination, as faith in God is faith in the truth and 
infinity of human feeling. Or: as faith in God is only faith 
in the abstract nature of man, so faith in the heavenly life is 
only faith in the abstract earthly life. 
But the sun1 of the future life is happiness, the everlasting 
bliss of personality, which is here lÏ1nited and circumscribed by 
Nature. Faith in the future life is therefore faith in the free- 
dom of subjectivity froIn the limits of Nature; it is faith in 


:I: "Ipsum (corpus) erit et non ipsum erit."-Augustinus (v. .J. Ch. Doe- 
derlein. lnst. Theol. Christ. Altorf: 1781, 
 280). 



THE CHRISTIAN REA VEN. 


183 


the eternity and infinitude of personality, and not of person- 
ality viewed in relation to the idea of the species, in which it for 
evei. unfolùs itself in new individuals, but of personality as be- 
longing to already existing individuals: consequently, it is the 
faith of man in himself. But faith in the kingdon1 of heaven 
is one with faith in God-the content of both ideas is the 
same; God is pure absolute subjectivity released from all na- 
tural limits; he is what individuals ought to be and will be : 
faith in God is therefore the faith of man in the infinitude and 
truth of his own nature; the divine being is the subjective 
human being in his absolute freedom and unlin1Ïtedness. 
Our most essential task is now fulfilled. "\Ve have reduced 
the supennundane, supernatural, and superhuman nature of God 
to the elements of lnunan nature as its funchullental elelnents. 
Our process of analysis has brought us again to the position 
with which we set out. The beginning, nlÏdclle and end of 
Religion is )IAX. 


E
D OF PART T. 



18-1 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRTSTIAKITY. 


PAR T II. 


THE FALSE OR THEOLOGICAL ESSENCE OF R,ELIGION. 


CHAPTER XIX. 


THE ESSENTIAL STA..
D
POINT OF RELIGION. 


THE essential stand-point of religion is the practical or sub- 
jective. The end of religion is the welfare, the salvation, the 
ultimate felicity of man; the relation of lllan to God is llothing 
else than his relation to his own spiritual good; God is the 
realized salvation of the soul, or the unlimited power of 
effecting the 
alvation, the bliss of Inan. * The Christian 
religion is especially distinguished froln other religions in 
this,-that no other has given equal pron1Ïnence to the 
salvation of man. But this salvation is not temporal, earthly 
prosperity and well-being. On the contrary, the lno
t genuine 
Christians have declared that earthly good draws man away 
frOln God, wherea
 adversity, suffering, afflictions lead hÜn 
back to God, and hence are alone suited to Christians. 'Vhy? 
because in trouble man is only practically or subjectively 
disposed; in trouble he has recourse only to the one thing 
needful; in trouble God is felt to be a want of man. 
Pleasure, joy, expands man; trouble, suffering, contracts and 
concentrates hinl ;-in suffering man denies the reality of the 
world: the things that chann the inlagiilation of the artist and 
the intellect of the thinker lose their attraction for him, their 
power over him; he is absorbed in him
elf, in his OWll 
ou1. 


* "Præh'r salutem tuam nihil cogites; solum quæ Dei sunt cures."- 
Thomas à Ie. (de Imit.l. i. c.23). "Contra salutem proprium cogites nihil. 
l\Iinus dixi: contra, præter dixisse debueran1."-Bernhardus (de COllsid. ad 
Eugenium pontif. n1ax.l. ii,). "Qui Deunl quærit, de propria salute sollici- 
tus est-."-Clemens Alex. (Cohort. ad Gent.). 



THE ESSENTIAL STAND-POIXT OF REI..IGION. ] 85 


The soul thus self-absorbed, self-concentrated, seeking satis- 
faction in itself alone, denying the world, idealistic in relation 
to the world, to Nature in general, but realistic in relation to 
man, caring only for its inherent need of salvation,-this soul 
is God. God, as the object of religion
-and only as such is 
he God,-God in the sense of (I nomen proprilll1
, not of a 
vague, metaphysical entity, is essentially an object only of 
religion, not of philú
úphy,-of feeling, not of the intellect,-of 
the heart's necessity, not of the nlÍ1Hl's freedoln: in short, an 
object which is the reflex not of the theoretical but of the 
practical tendency in nlan. 
Religion annexes to its doctrines a curse and a blessing, 
dmunation and salvatioll. Blessed is he that believeth, cursed 
is he that believeth not. Thus it appeals not to reason, but 
to feeling, to the desire of happiness, to the passions of hope 
and fear. It does not take the theoretic point of view; other- 
wise it must have been free to enullciate its doctrines without 
attaching to them practical consequences, without to a certain 
extent conlpelling belief in thell1; for when the case stands 
thus: I am lost if I do not believe,-the conscience is uncler a 
subtle kind of constraint; the fear of hel] urges me to believe. 
Even supposing nlY belief to be in its origin free, fear inevitably 
intenningles itself; Iny conseience is always under constraint; 
doubt, the principle of theoretic freedom, appears to me a 
crime. .And as in religion the highest idea, the highest 
existence is God, so the highest crinle is doubt in God, or the 
doubt that God exists. But that which I do not trust nlyself 
to doubt, whieh I cannot doubt without feeling disturbed in 
nlY soul, without incurring guilt; thnt is no nuttter of theory, 
but a mattel
 of conscience, no Being of the intellect, but of the 
heart. 
N ow as the sole stand -point of religion is the practical or 
subjective stand-point, as therefore to religion the whole, the 
essential man is that part of his nature which is practical, 
which forms resolutions, which acts in accordance .with con- 
scious ailus, whether physical or moral, anù which considers 
the world not in itself, but only in relation to those aims or 
wants: the consequence is that everything which lies behind 
the practical consciousness, but which is the essential object of 
theory-theory in its most original and general sense, nmnely, 
that of objective contemplation anù experience, of the intel- 



18G 


THE ESSEKCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


leet, of science * - is regarded by religion as lying outside 
man and Nature, in a special, personal being. All good, ùut 
especially snch as takes possession of nlan apart fron1 his 
volition, such as does not correspond with any resolution or 
pnrpose, such as transcends the lÏ1nits of the practical con- 
sciousness, comes from God; all ,yickedness, evil, but especially 
such as overtakes him against his will in the n1Íclst of his best 
moral resolutions, or hurries hÍln along with terrible violence, 
comes fro111 the devil. The scientific knowledge of the essence 
of religion includes the knowledge of the deyil, of Satan, of 
dmnons.t These things cannot be olnitted without a violent 
mutilation of religion. Grace and its works are the antitheses 
of the devil and his works. .L\s the involuntary, sensual 
impulses which flash out from the depths of the nature, and, 
in general, all those phenolllena of moral and physical evil 
which are inexplicable to religion, appear to it as the work of 
the Evil Being; so the involuntary nlovenlents of inspiration 
and ecstasy appear to it as the work of the Good Being, God, 
of the Holy Spirit or of Grace. Hence the arbitrariness of 
grace-the conlplaint of the pious that grace at one time 
visits and blesses thenl, at another forsakes and rejects them. 
The life, the agency of grace, is the life, the agenc)'" of emotion. 
Emotion is the Paraclete of Christians. The 11101nents which 
are forsaken by divine grace, are the monlents destitute of 
emotion and inspiration. 
In relation to the inner life, Grace may be defined as 
religious genius; in relation to the outer "'life as religious 
chance. 1\Ian is good or wiC'kecl by no means through hiIn- 
self, his own power, his will; but through that complete 
synthesis of hidden and eyident determinations of things 
which, because they rest on no evident necessity, we ascribe 
to the power of ,: clHlllee," Divine grace is the power of 
chance becluuded with additional mystery. II ere we have 


* ReTe and in other parts of this work, theory is taken in the sense in · 
which it is the source of true objective activity,-the science which gives 
birth to art,-for mall can do only so much as he knows: "tantum potest 
q uan turn sci t." 
t Concerning the biblical conceptions of Satan, his }10Wer and works, Ree 
LÜtzelberg-er's "Grundziige del' Paulinischen Glaubcll:-;lehre," and G. Ch. 
Knapp's "V orles. über d. Christl, Glaubensl." 
 62-65. To this subject 
belong's demoniacal possession, which also has its attestation in the Bible. 
See Knapp (
 65. iii. 2, 3). 



THE ESSENTIAL ST.A
D-POI:KT OF RELIGION. J 87 


again the confirmation of that which we have seen to be ttle 
essential law of religion. Religion denie
, repudiates chance, 
nlaking everything dependent on God, eXplaining everything 
by Inefins of him; but this denial it; only apparent; it merely 
gives chance the name of the divine sovereignty. For the divine 
will which, on incoInprehensible grounds, for incomprehensible 
reasons, that is, speaking plainly, out of groundless, absolute 
arbitrariness, out of divine caprice, as it were, determines or 
predestines SOlne to evil and misery, others to good and 
happinest;, has not a single positive ûharacteristic to dis- 
tinguish it from the power of chance. The n1)'stery of the 
election of grace is thus the mystery of chance. I say the 
'lnysteJ'.lI of chance; for in reality chance is a mystery, although 
slurred over and ignored by our speculative religious philosophy, 
which, as in its occupation with the illusory n1ysteries of the 
Absolute Being, i.e., of theology, it has overlooked the true 
mysteries of thought and life, so also in the nlystery of divine 
grace or freedom of election, has forgotten the profane mystery 
of ehance. * 
But to return. The devil is the negative, the evil, that 
springs from the nature, hut not fronl the will; God is the 
positive, the good, which comes from the nature, but not from 
the conscious action of the will; the devil is involuntary, 
inexplicable wickedness; God involuntary, inexplicable good- 
ness. The source of both is the same, the quality only is 
different or opposite. For this reason, the belief in a devil 
was, until the I110St recent tÌ1nes, intinuttelv connected with 
the belief in God, so that the denial of the 01 devil was held to 
be virtually as atheistic as the denial of God. N or without 
reason; for when 1nen once hegin to derive the phenomena of 
evil from natural causes, they at the same time begin to 
derive the phenomena of good, of the divine, from the nature 
of things, and COll1e at length either to abolish the idea of 
God altogether, or at least to believe in another Göd than the 
God of religion. In this case it most cOInnlonly happens 
that they nlake the Deity an idle inactive being, whose existence 
is equivalent to non-existence, since he no longer actively 


* Doubtless, this unveiling of the mystery of predestination will be 
pronounced atrocious, impious, diabolical. I have nothing to allege against 
this; I would rather be a devil in alliance with truth, than an angel in 
alliance with falsehood. 



188 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


interposes in life, but is lnerely placed at the Rumlnit of things, 
at the beginning of the world, as the 
First Canse. God 
created the world: this is all that is here retained of God. 
The past tense is necessary; for since that epoch the world 
pursues its course like a lnachine. The addition: He still 
creates, he is creating at this Inoment, is only the result of 
external reflection; the past tense adequately expresses the 
religious idea in this stage; for the spirit of religion is gone 
when tlle operation of God is reduced to a fecit or crearit. 
I t is otherwise when the genuine religious consciousness 
says: The fecit is 
till to-day a facit. This, though herE' 
also it is a product of reflection, has nevertheless a legitimate 
lueaning, because by the religious spirit God is really thought 
of as a<'tive. 
Religion is abolished where the idea of the worlel, of 
so-called second causes, intrudes itself between God and 
man. Here a foreign elelnent, the principle of intellectual 
culture, has insinuated itself, peace is broken, the harmony of 
religion, which lies only in the imlnediate connexion of nlfln 
with God, is destroyed. Second causes are a capitulation 
of the unbelieving intellect with thE' still believing heart. 
It is true that, according to religion also, God works on nUHl 
by means of other things and beings. But God alone is the 
cause, he alone is the active and efficient being. \Yhat a 
fellow-creature does, is in the yiew of religion done not by 
hÏIn, but by God. The other is only an appearance, a InedÍlnn, 
a vehicle, not a cause. But the" second cause" is a nÜserable 
anol11aly, neither an independent nor a dependent being: Gud, 
it is true, gives the first inlIJulse, but then ensues the spon- 
taneous activitv of the second cause. * 
Religion of itself, unadulterated by foreign el81nents, knows 
nothing of the existence of second causes; on the contrary, 
they are a stone of stlllnbling to it; for the realm of second 
causes, the sensible ,,
orld, Nature, is precisely what 
eparates 
man froln God, although God as a real God, i. e., an external 


* A Id11ùred doctrine is that of the COJlCU1'SllS Dei, according to which, 
God not only gives the first impulse, but also co-operates in the agency of 
the second cause. ..For the rest, this doctrine i
 only a particular form of 
the contradictory duali
m between God and Nature, which runs through 
the history of CI;ristianity. On the subject of this remark, as of the whole 
paragraph, see StraUSb: Die Christliclte Glaubenslellre, B. ii. 
 75, 76. 



THE ESSENTIAL STAND-POINT OF RELIGION. 189 


being, is supposed hiu1self to beCOlne in the other world a 
sensible existence.* Hence religion believes that one day this 
wall of separation will fall away. One day there will be no 
Nature, no nHttter, no body, at least none such as to separate 
luan fron1 God: then there will be only God and the pious 
soul. Religion derives the idea of the existence of second 
causes, that is, of things which are interposed between Goel 
and man, only from the physical, natural, and hence the 
irreligious or at least non-religious theory of the universe: a 
theory which it nevertheless immediately subverts ùy making 
the operations of Nature operations of Goel. But this religious 
itlea is in contradiction with the natural sense and under- 
standing, which conceùes a real, spontaneous activity to natural 
things. And this contradiction of the physical view with the 
religious theory, religion resolves by converting the undeniable 
activity of things into an activity of God. Thus, on this 
,iew, the positive idea is God; the negative, the world.. 
On the contrary, where second causes, having been set in 
_ motion, are, so to speak, elnancipated, the converse occurs; 
Nature is the positive, God a negative idea. The world is 
independent in its existence, its persistence; only as to its 
con1ll1encenlent is it dependent. God is here only a hypo- 
thetical Being, an inference, arising from the necessity of 
a lÏInited understanding, to which the existence of a world 
viewed by it as a machine, is inexplicable without a self- 
moving IH'illciple ;-he is no longer an original, absolutely 
necessary Being. God exists not for his own sake, but for the 


* "Dum sumus in hoc corpore, peregrinamur ab eo qui summe est."- 
Bernard. Epist. 18. (Ed. Basle, 1552). "As long as Wp live, we are in the 
midst of death."-Luther (T. i. p. 331). The idea of the future life is 
therefore nothing else than the idea of true, perfected religion, freed from 
the limits and obstructions of this life,-the future life, as has been already 
said, nothing but the true opinion and disposition, the open heart, of reli- 
gion. Here we believe; there we behold; i, e" there there is nothing 
besides God, and thus nothing between God and the soul; but only for 
this reason, that there ought to be nothing between them, because the 
immediate union of God and the soul is the true opinion and desire of 
l'eligioll.-" '\T e have as yet so to do with God as with one hidden 
from us, aud it is not possible that in this life we should hold communion 
with him face to face. All creatures are now nothing else than vain masks, 
under which God conceals himself, anù by which he deals with us."- 
Luther (T. xi. p. 70). " If thou wert only free from the images of created 
things, thou Inightest have God without intermissiol1."-Tauler (1. c. p. 313). 



190 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


sake of the world,-merely that he l11ay, as a First Cause, 
explain the existence of the world. The narrow rationalizing 
man takes objection to the original self-subsistence of the 
world, because he looks at it only from the suùjectiye, practical 
point of view, only in its conlilloner aspect, only as a piece of 
mechanism, not in its majesty and glory, not as the UOSIllOS. 
He conceives the world as having been launched into existence 
by an original Ï1npetus, as, according to mathematical theory, 
is the case with matter once set in Inotion and thenceforth 
going on for ever: that is, he postulates a mechanical origin 
A ma('hine must have a beginning; this is involved in its 
verv idea; for it has not the source of motion in itself. 
All religious speculative cosmogony is tautology, as is 
apparent froll1 this example. In coslllogony Ulan declares or 
realizes the idea he has of the world; he merely repeats what 
he has already said in another fornl. Thus here; if the 
world is a machine, it is self-evident that it did not make 
itself, that on the contrary it was created, i. e., had a me- 
chanical origin. Herein, it is true, the religious consciousness 
agrees with the mechanical theory, that to it also the world is 
a mere fabric, a product of 'ViII. But they i:tgl'ee only for an 
instant, only in the nl0111ent of creation; that lllonlent past, 
the harmony ceases. The holder of the mechanicltl theory 
needs God only as the creator of the worId; once lnade, the 
world turns its "back on the creator, and rejoices in its godless 
self-suùsistence. But' religiun creates the world only to 
maintain it in the perpetual consciousness of its nothingness, 
its dependence on God. * To the nlechanical theorist, the 
creation is the last thin thread which yet ties hinl to religion; 
the religion to which the nothingness of the world is a 
present truth, (for all power and activity is to it the power and 
activity of God,) is with him only a surviving reIniniscence of 
youth; hence he rellloves th
 creation of the world, the act of 
reþgion, the non-existence of the world, (for in the beginning, 
before the creation, there was no world, only God,) into the 


* "V oluntate igitur Dci immobilis manet et stat in seeulllID terra. . . . 
et voluntate Dei movetur et nutat. K on ergo fUlldamentis suis llixa sub- 
sistit, nee fuleris suis stabilis per:severat, sed Dominu:s statuit earn et firma- 
mento voluntatis suæ eontinet, quia in manu ejus omnes fines terræ." - 
Alubrosius (Hexæmeron.l. i. c. 61). 



THE ESSENTIAL STAYD-POINT OF RELIGION. 191 


far distance, into the past, while the self-subsistence of the 
world, which absorbs all his senses and endeavours, acts on 
hinl with the force of the present. The mechanical theorist 
interrupts and cuts short the activity of God by the activity of 
the world. \Vith hÜn God has indeed still an historical right, 
hut this is in contradiction with the right he awards to 
 ature; 
henee he linlÌts as nluch as possible the right yet remaining 
to God, in order to gain wider and freer l)lay for his natural 
causes, and thereby for his understanding. 
\Yith this class of thinkers the creation holds the sanle 
position as miracles, 'which also they can and actually do 
acquiesce in, because n1Ïracles exist, at least aecording to 
religious opinion. But not to say that he explains lllÌracles 
naturally, that is, mechanically, he can only digest them when 
he relegates them to the past; for the l)resent he begs to be 
excused from believing in thenl, and explains everything to 
hiInself charmingly on natural principles. \Yhen a belief has 
departed from the reason, the intelligence, when it is no 
longer held spontaneously, but merely because it is a. comnlon 
belief, or because on SOIne ground or other it nlust be held; 
in short, when a belief is inwardly a past one; then externally 
also the object of the belief is referred to the past. Unbelief 
thus gets breathing space, but at the Dame time concedes to 
belief at least an historical validity. The past is here the 
fortunate means of compromise between belief and unhelief: 
I certainly believe in n1Ïracles, but, nota bene} in no n1Ïracles 
which happen now-only in those which once happened, which, 
thank God! are already J)IIlS qU(l1n pelfecta. So also with 
the creation. The creation is an iUlnlediate act of God, a 
n1Ïracle, for there was once nothing but God. In the idea 
of the creation man transcends the world, he rises into 
abstraction from it; he conceives it as non-existent in the 
1110mellt of creation; thus he dispels fronl his sight what 
stands between hÜnself and God, the sensible world; he places 
hÜnself in inlnlediate contact with God. But the lnechanical 
thinker shrinks fi'om this immediate contact with God; hence 
he at once Inakes the præsens, if indeed he soars so high, into 
a pe1fect1l'J1
" he interposes lllillenniulns between his natural or 
materialistic view and the thought of an immediate ol)eration 
of God. 
To the religious spirit, on the contrary, God alone is the 



192 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


cause of all positive effects, God alone the ultimate and also 
the sole ground wherewith it answers, or rather repels all 
qTIestion
 which theory puts forward; for the affirnlative of 
religion is virtually a negative; its answer amounts. to nothing, 
since it solves the lnost various questions always with the 
same answer, l11aking all the operations of Nature inunediate 
operations of God, of a designing, per
onal, extranatural or 
suprallatural Being. God is the idea which supplies the lack 
of theory. The idea of God is the explanation of the in- 
eXplicable,-which explains nothing because it is supposed to 
explain everything without distinction; he is the night of 
theory, a night however in which everything is clear to religious 
feeling, because in it the measure of darkness, the discrin1Ïnating 
light of the understanding, is extinct; he is the ignorance 
which solves all doubt by repressing it, which knows every- 
thing because it knows nothing definite, because all things 
which impress the intellect disappear before religion, lose their 
individuality, in the eyes of divine power are nothing. Dark- 
ness is the lllother of religion. 
The essential act of religion, that in which religion l)uts 
into action what we have designated as its essence, is prayer. 
Prayer is all-powerful. 'Yhat the pious soul entreats for in 
prayer, God fulfils. But he prays not for spiritual gifts* alone, 
which lie in some sort in the power of luan; he prays abo for 
things "which lie out of him, which are in the power of Nature, 
a power which it is the very oùject of prayer to overconle; 
in IH'ayer he lays hold on a supernatural lneans, in order to 
attain ends in themselves natural. God is to him not the 
causa 1'C1nota but the callsa, pro,Tlnul, the inll11ediate, efficient 
cause of all natural effects. All so-called secondary forces and 
second causes are nothing to hÜn when he prays; if they 
were anything to him, the Inight, the fervour of prayer would 
be annihilated. But in fact they have no existence for hinl; 
otherwise he would assuredly ;eek to attain his end only 
by some intermediate process. But he desires inlmediate 
help. He has recourse to prayer in the certainty that he can 
do n10re, infinitely more, by prayer, than hy all the efforts of 
reason and all the agencies of nature,-in the conviction that 


* It is only unbelief in the efficacy of prayer which has subtly limited 
prayer to spiritual matters. 



THE ESSENTIAL STAND-POINT OF REJ...IGION. 193 


prayer possesses superhuman and supernatural powers.. But 
in prayer he applies inlmediately to God. Thus God is to him 
the i1nnwdiate cause, the fulfilnlent of prayer, the power which 
realizes pl
ayer. But an immediate act of God is a miracle; 
hence miracle is essential to the religious view. Religion 
explains everything Iniraculously. That miracles do not always 
happen, is indeed obvious, as that man does not always pray. 
But the consideration that n1Ïracles do not always happen, lies 
outside the nature of religion, in the empirical or physical 
mode of view only. \Vhere religion begins, there also begins 
miracle. Every true prayer is a miracle, an act of the wonder 
working power. External miracles thmnselves only make 
visible internal miracles, that is, they are only a manifestation 
in tiIne and space, and therefore as a special fact, of what in 
and b)'" itself is a fundamental position of religion, namely, 
that God is, in general, the supernatural, immediate cause of 
all things. The miracle of fact is only an impassioned ex- 
pression of religion, a moment of inspiration. 
liracles 
happf'n only in extraordinary crises, in which there is an 
exaltation of the feelings: hence there are miracles of anger. 
No miracle is wrought in cold blood. But it is precisely in 
moments of passion that the latent nature reveals itself. 
}'Ian does not always pray with equal warmth and power. 
Such prayers are therefore ineffective. Only ardent prayer 
reveals the nature of prayer. 
Ian truly prays when he regards 
prayer as in itself a sacred power, a divine force. So it is 
with miracles. 
Iiracles ha.ppen-no nlatter whether few or 
many-wherever there is, as a basis for them, a belief in the 
miraculous. But the belief in miracle is no theoretic or 
objective mode of viewing the wodd and Nature; miracle 
realizes practical wants, and that in contradiction with the 
laws which are iInperative to the reason; in miracle nlan 
subjugates Nature, as in itself a nullity, to his own ends, which 
he regard:::; as a reality; Iniracle is the superlative expression 
of spiritual or religious utilitarianism; in miracle all things 


=11= According to the notion of barbarians, therefore, prayer is a coercive 
power, a charm. But thi::-; conception is an unchristian one (although even 
anlong many Christians, the idea is accepted that prayer constrains God);. 
for in Christianity God is essentially feeling satisfied in itself, Almighty 
goodness, which denies nothing to (religious) feeling. The idea of coercion 
presupposes an unfeeling God. 
K 



]ü4 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


are at the service of necessitous man. It is clear from this, 
that the conception of the world which is essential to religion 
is that of the practical or subjective stand-point, that God- 
for the miracle-working power is identical with God-is a 
l)urely practical or subjective being, serving however as a 
substitute for a theoretic view, und is thus no object of thought, 
of the knowing faculty, any more than n1Ïracle, which owes its 
origin to the negation of thought. If I place Inyself in the 
point of view of thought, of investigation, of theory, in which 
I consider things in tbmllselves, in their lllutual relations, 
the miracle-working being vanishes into nothing, miracle 
disappears; i. e.. the religious miracle, which is absolutely dif- 
ferent from the natural llliracle, though they are continually 
interchanged, in order to stultify reason, and, under the ap- 
pearance of natural science, to introduce religious Iniracle into 
the sphere of rationality and reality. 
But for this very reason-nan1ely, that religion is removed 
fron1 the stand -point, from the nature of theory-the true, 
universal essence of Nature and humanity, which as such is 
hidden fronl religion and is only visible t
 the theoretic eye, 
is conceived as another, a lniraculous and supernatural essence; 
the idea of the species becomes the idea of Goel, who again 
is himself an individual being, but is distinguished from human 
individuals in this, that he possesses their qualities according 
to the measure of the species. Hence, in religion man neces- 
sarily places his nature out of himself, regards his nature as a 
separate nature ;
necessarily, because the nature which is the 
object of theory lies outside of hÍ1n. because all his conscious 
existence spends itself in his practical subjectivity. God is 
his alter ego, his other lost half; Goel is the complement of 
hÜnself; in God he is first a perfect man. God is a need to 
hilll; something is wanting to hÍ1n without his knowing what 
Ït is-God is this sOlllething wanting, indispensable to hÍ1n; 
God belongs to his nature. The world is nothing to religion, * 
-the world, which is in truth the snm of all reality, is revealed 
Ül its glory only by theory. The joys of theory are the sweetest 


* "Natura enim remota providentia et potestate divina prorsus nihil est." 
-Laetantius (Div. lnst. lib. 3, e. 28). "Omnia quæ ereata sunt, quamvis ea 
Deus fecerit valde bona, Creatori tamen comparata, nec bona sunt, cui conl- 
parata nee sunt; altissime quippe et proprio modo quodam de se ipso dixit: 
Ego sum, qui sum."-Augustinus (de Perfectione just. Hom. c. 14). 



THE ESSENTIAL STAND-POINT .OF RELIGION. 195 


intellectual pleasures of life; but religion knows nothing of 
the joys of the thinker, of the investigator of Nature, of the 
artist. The idea of the universe is wanting to it, the con- 
sciousness of the really infinite, the consciousness of the 
species. God only is its compensation for the poverty of life, 
for the want of a substantial import, which the true life of 
rational contemplation presents in unending fulness. God is 
to religion the substitute for the lost worlcl,-God is to it in 
the stead of pure contemplation, the life of theory. 
That which we have designated as the practical or subjective 
view is not pure, it is tainted with egoism, for therein I have 
relation to a thing only for nlY own sake; neither is it sf'lf- 
sufficing, for it places me in relation to an object aùove 
my own level. On the contrary, the theoretic view is joyful, 
self-sufficing, happy; for here the object calls forth love and 
admiration; in the light of the free intelligence it is radiant 
as a diamond, transparent as a rock-crystal. The theoretic 
view is æsthetic, ,vhereas the practical is unæsthetic. Reli- 
gion therefore finds in Goù a compen::;ation for the want 
of an æsthetic view. To the religious spirit the world is 
nothing in itself; the admiration, the contemplation of it is 
idolatry; for the world is a mere pieee of mechanism. * 
Hence in religion it is God that serves as the object of 
pure, untainted, i. e., theoretic or æsthetic conteIuplation. 
God is the existence to which the religious man has an ob- 
jective relation; in God the object is contemplated by l1Ïm for 
its own sake. God is an end in himself; therefore in religion 
he has the significance which in the theoretic view belongs to 
the object in general. The general being of theory is to 
religion a special being. It is true that in religion lnan, in 
his relation to God, has relation to his own wants as well in a 
higher as in the lower sense: "Give us this day our daily 
bread;" but God can satisfy all wants of lnfln only because he 
in himself has no wants,-because he is perfect blessedness. 


* "Pulchras formas et varias, nitidos et anlænos colores amant oculi. Non 
teneant hæc animam meam; teneat earn Deus qui hæc fecit, bona quidem valde, 
sed ipse est bonum meum, non hæc."-Augustin. (Confess. I. x. c. 34). "Vetiti 
autem SUlllUS (2 Cor, iv. 18.) converti ad ea quæ videntur . . . . Amandus 
igitur solus Deus est: omnis vero iste mundus, i. e. omnia sensibilia con- 
temnenda, utendurn autpill his ad hujus vitæ necessitatem."-Ib. (de l\ioribus 
Eccl. Cathol. 1. i. c. 20). 


K 2 



196 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIA:KITY. 


CHAPTER XX. 


THE CONTRADICTION IN THE EXISTENCE OF GOD. 


RELIGION is the relation of man to his own nature,-therein 
lies its truth and its power of n10ral amelioration ;-but to his 
nature not recognised as his own, but regarded as another 
nature, separate, nay, contradistinguished froll1 his own: herein 
lies its untruth, its limitation, its contradiction to reason and 
morality; herein lies the noxious source of religious fanati- 
cism, the chief metaphysical principle of human sacrifices, in 
a word, the prÏ7na 1nateria of all the atrocities, all the horrible 
scenes, in the tragedy of religious history. 
The contemplation of the hun1an nature as another, a se- 
parately existent nature, is, however, in the original conception 
of religion an involuntary, childlike, simple act of the mind, 
that is, one which separates God and lnan just as imlnediately 
as it again identifies them. But when religion advances in 
years, and, with years, in understanding; when, within the 
bosom of religion, reflection on religion is awakened, and the 
consciousnes8 of the identity of the divine being with tlle 
lnnnan begins to dawn,-in & word, when religion becomes 
theology, the originally involuntary and harmless separation of 
God from lnan, beconles an intentional, excogitated separation, 
which has no other object than to banish again from the con- 
sciousness this identity which has already entered there. 
Hence the nearer religion stands to its origin, the truer, the 
more genuine it is, the less is its true nature disguised; that is 
to say, in the origin of religion there is no qualitative or essen- 
tial distinction whatever between God and man. And the 
religions man is not shocked at this identification; for his 
understanding is still in harmony with his religion. Thus in 
ancient Judaism, Jehovah was a heing differing from the 
human individual in nothing but in duration of existence; 
in his qualities, his inherent nature, he was entirely similar to 
man,-had the same passions, the same human, nay, even 
corporeal properties. Only in the later J udaisn1 was J e- 
hovah separated in the strictest manner from man, and recourse 



THE COXTRADICTIO:X IN THE EXISTENCE OF GOD. 197 


was had to allegory in order to give to the old anthropo- 
morphisms another sense than that which they originally had. 
So again in Christianity: in its earliest records the divinity of 
Christ is not so decidedly stamped as it afterwards became. 
'Vith Paul especially, Christ is still an undefined being, 
hovering between heaven and earth, between God and man, 
or, in general, one anlongst the existence8 subordinate to th
 
highest,-the first of the angels, the first created, but still 
created; begotten indeed for our sake, but then neither are 
angels anù men created, but begotten, for God is their Father 
also. The Church first identified him with God, lnade him 
the exclusive Son of God, defined his distinction from men 
and angels, tlnd thus gave binl the monopoly of an eternal, 
uncreated existence. 
In the genesis of ideas, the first mode in which reflexion on 
religion, or theology, makes the divine being a distinct being, 
and places him outside of man, is by making the existence of 
God the object of a forInal proof. 
The proofs of the existence of God have been pronounced 
contradictory to the essential nature of religion. They are so ; 
but only in their form as proofs. Religion immediately repre- 
sents the inner nature of man as an objectiv.e, external being. 
And the proof aims at nothing more than to prove that religion 
is right. The most perfect being is that than which no higher 
can be conceived: God is the highest that man conceives or 
can conceive. This premiss of the ontological proof-the 
most interesting proof, because it proceeds from within-ex- 
presses the inmost nature of religion. That which is the 
highest for Ilian, from which he can nlake no further ab- 
straction, which is the positive limit of his intellect, of his 
feeling, of his sentiment, that is to him God-id quo nihil 
'lnajus cogitari potest. But this highest being would not be 
the highest if he did not exist; we could then conceive a higher 
being who would be superior to hÜn in the fact of existence; 
the idea of the highest being directly precludes this fiction. 
Not to exist is a deficiency; to exist is perfection, happiness, 
bliss. From a being to whom Iliall gives all, offers up all that 
is precious to hiln, he cannot withhold the bliss of existence. 
The contradiction to the religious spirit in the proof of the 
existence of God lies only in this, that the existence is thought 
of separately, and thence arises the appearance that God is a 
mere conception, a being existing in idea only,-an appearance 



198 


THE ESSE:NCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


however which is immediately dissipated; for the very result 
of the proof is, that to God belongs an existence distinct from 
an ideal one, an existence apart ii'om man, apart ii'om thought, 
-a real self-existence. 
The proof therefore is only thus far discordant with the 
spirit of religion, that it presents as a formal deduction the 
in1plicit enthyu1en1e or immediate conclusion of religion, ex- 
hibits in logical relation, and therefore distinguishes, what 
religion Ünmediately unites; for to religion God is not a 
matter of abstract thought,-he is a present truth and reality. 
But that every religion in its idea of God make::; a latent, un- 
conscious inference, is confessed in its polemic against other 
religions. " Ye heathens," says the Jew or the Christian, 
"were able to conceive nothing higher as Jour deities because 
ye were sunk in sinful desires. Your God rests on a conclu- 
sion, the premisses of which are your sensual impulses, your 
passions. You thought thus: the most excellent life is, to 
live out one's impulses without restraint; and because this life 
was the most excellent, the truest, you made it your God. 
Your God was your carnal nature, your heaven only a free 
theatre for the passions which, in society and in the conditions 
of actual life generally, had to suffer restraint." But, naturally, 
in relation to itself no religion is conscious of such an infer- 
ence, for the highest of which it is capable is its lin1Ït, has the 
force of necessity, is not a thought, not 0 conception, but 
imillediate reality. 
The proofs of the existence of God have for their aim to 
make the internal external, to separate it from n1an. * His 
. existence being proved, God is no longer a merely relative, 
but a noumenal being (Ding an sich): he is not only a 
being for us, a being in our faith, our feeling, our nature, he 
is a being in himself, a being external to us,-in a word, not 
merely a belief, a feeling, a thought, but also a real existence 
apart from belief, feeling, and thought. But such an existence 
is no other than a sensational existence; i. e., an existence con- 
ceived according to the forlns of our senses. 


* At the same time, however, their result is, to prove the nature of man. 
The various proofs of the existence of God are nothing- else than various 
hio'hly interestin o ' forms in which the human nature affirms itself. Thus, 
fo
 example, the physico-theolog-ical proof (or proof from design) is the self- 
affirmation of the calculated actÏ\'ity of the undel'
tanding. Every philo- 
sophic system is, in this sense, a proof of the existence of God. 



THE CONTRADICTION IN THE EXISTENCE OF GOD. 199 


The idea of sensational existence is indeed already involved in 
the characteristic exprebsioll "external to US." It is true that a 
sophistical theology}'efuses to interpret the word" external" in 
its proper, natural sense, and substitutes the indefinite expres- 
sion of independent, separate existence. But if the externality 
is only figurative, the existence also is figurative. And yet 
we are here only concerned with existence in the proper sense, 
and external existence is fllone the definite, real, unshrinking 
expression for separate existence. 
Real, sensational existence is that which is not dependent on 
my own mental spontaneity or activity, but by which I am 
involuntarily affected, whieh is when I am not, when I do not 
think of it or feel it. The existence of God nUlst therefore be 
in space-in general, a qualitative, sensational existence. But 
God is not seen, not heard, not perceived by the senses. He 
does not exist for me, if I do not exist for hilll; if I do not belieyp 
in a God, there is no God for me. If I anl not deyoutly dis 
posed, if I do not raise myself above the life of the senses, he 
has no place in my consciousness. Thus he exists only in so 
far as he is felt, thought, believed in ;-the addition "for me" is 
unnecessary. His existence therefore is a real one, yet at the 
saIne time not a real one ;-a spiritual existence, says the theo- 
logian. But spiritual existence is only an existence in thought, 
in feeling, in belief: so that his existence is a nledium between 
sensational existence and conceptional existence, a mediuln full 
of contradiction. Or: he is a sensational existence, to which 
llowever all the conditions of sensational existence are wanting:- 
consequently an existence at once sensational and not sensa- 
tional, an existence which contradicts the idea of the sensational, 
or only a vague existence in general, which is fundamentally a 
sensational one, but which, in order that this may not become 
evident, is divested of all the predicates of a reai, sensational 
existence. But such an " existence in general" is self-contra- 
dictory. To existence belongs full, definite reality. 
A necessary consequence of this contradiction is Atheism. 
The existence of God is essentially an 8lupiricaJ existence, 
without having its distinctive marks; it is in itself a matter of 
experience, and yet in reality no object of experience. It calls 
upon man to seek it in Reality: it impregnates his mind with 
sensational conceptions and pretensions; hence, when these are 
not fulfilled-when, on the contrary, he finds experience in con- 



200 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


tradiction with these conceptions, he is perfectly justified In 
denying tha.t existence. 
Kant is well known to have maintained, in his critique of the 
proofs of the existence of God, that that existence is not sus- 
ceptible of proof from reason. He did not merit, on this 
aceount, the blame which was cast on him by Hegel. The 
idea of the existence of God in those proofs is a thoroughly 
empirical one; but I cannot deduce 
Inpil'if'al existence fi'om 
an à priori idea. The only real ground of blame against Kant 
is, that in laying down this position he supposed it to be some- 
thing relnarkable, whereas it is self-evident. Reason cannot 
constitute itself an object of sense. I cannot, in thinking, at 
the Sèlme tÜne represent what I think as a sensible object, 
external to me. The proof of the existence of God transcends 
the limits of the reason; true; but in the same sense in which 
sight, hearing, smell transcend the limits of the reason. It is 
absurd to reproach reason, that it does not satisfy a demand 
which can only address itself to the senses. Existence, em- 
l)irical exist
nce, is proved to nle by the senses alone; and in 
the question as to the being of God, the existence implied has 
not the significance of inward reality, of truth, but the signi- 
ficance of a formal, external existence. Hence there is perfect 
truth in the allegation, that the belief that God is or is not 
llas no consequence with respect to inward moral dispositions. 
It is true that the thought-there is a God, is inspiring; but 
here the is means inward realitv; here the existence is a 
movement of inspiration, an iet of aspiration. Just in 
proportion as this existence beconles a prosaic, an empirical 
truth, the inspiration is extinguished. 
Religion, therefore, in so far as it is founded on the existence 
of God as an empirical truth, is a matter of indifference to the 
inward disposition. As, necessarily, in the religious cultus, 
cerenlonies, observances, sacranlents, apart from the moral spirit 
or disposition, become in themselves an important fact: so also, 
at last, belief in the existence of God becomes, apart from the 
inherent quality, the spiritual import of the idea of GoJ, a chief 
point in religion. If thou only believest in God-believest that 
God is, thou art already saved. 'Vhether under this God thou 
conceivest a really divine being or a nlonster, a K ero or a Cali- 
gula, an Î1nage of thy passions, thy revenge, or amLition, it is 
all one,-the nutÎn point is that thou be not an lttheist. The 
history of religion has amply confirmed this consequence which 



THE CONTRADICTION IN THE EXISTENCE OF GOD. 201 


we here draw froln the idea of the diyine existence. If the exist- 
ence of God, taken by itself, had not rooted itself as a religious 
truth in minds, there would never have been those illffimou

 
senseless, horrible ideas of (j-od which stigluatize the history 
of religion and theology. The existence of God was a common, 
external, and yet at the snllie tÏIne a holy thing :-what wonder, 
then, if on this ground the conllnonest, rudest, most unholy 
conueptions and opinions sprang up ! 
Atheism was suppo
ed, and is even now supposed, to ùe 
the negation of all moral principle, of all moral founùations 
and bonds: if God is not. all distinction between good and 
bad, virtue and yice, is abolished. Thus the distinction lies 
only in the existence of God; the reality of virtue lies not in 
itself, but out of it. And assureùly it is not from an attach. 
ment to virtue, from a conviction of its intrinsic worth and im- 
portance, that the reality of it is thus bound up with the ex- 
istence of God. On tIle contrary, the belief that God is the 
necessary condition of virtue, is the belief in the nothingness of 
virtue in itself. 
It is indeed worthy of remark, that the idea of the empirical 
existence of God has been perfectly developeù in modern 
tÏ1nes, in which empiricism and materialism in general 
have arrived at their full blow. It is true that even in the 
originnl, simple religious Inind, God is an e1npirical existence 
to be found in a place, though above the earth. But here 
t
lÌs conception has not so naked, so prosaic a significance; 
the imagination identifies again the external God with the 
soul of nlan. The imagination is, in general, the true place of 
an existence which is absent, not present to the senses, though 
nevertheless sensational in its essence. * Only the Ünagina- 
tion solves the contradiction in a.n existence which is at once 
sensational and not sensational; only the imagination is the 


* "Christ is ascended on high. . . . . that is, he not only sits there 
above, but he is also here below. And he is gone thither to the very end 
that he might be here below, and fill all things, and be in all places, which 
he could not do while on earth, for here he could not be seen by all bodily 
eyes. Therefore he sits above, where every man can see him, and he has to 
do with every man." -Luther (T. xiii. p. 643). That is to say: Christ or 
God is an object, an existence, of the imagination; in the imagination he is 
limited to no place,-he is present and objective to everyone. God exists 
in heaven, but is for that reason omnipresent; for this heaven is the 
imagination. 


1\.3 



202 


THE ESSESCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


preservative from atheism. In the imagination, existence has 
sensational effects,-existence affirms itself as a power; with the 
essence of sensational existence the imagination associates also 
the phenomena of sensational existence. 'Vhere the existence 
of God is a living truth, an object on which the imagination 
exercises itself, there also appearances of God are belieyed in.* 
'Vhere, on the contrary, the fire of the religious imagination is 
extinct, where the sensational effects or appearances necessarily 
connected with an essentially sensational existence cease, there 
the existence becomes a dead, self-contradictory existence, which 
falls irrecoverably into the negation of atheism. 
The belief in the existence of God is the belief in a special 
existence, separate from the existence of man and Nature. 
A special existence can only be proved in a special manner. 
This faith is therefore only then a true and living one when 
special effects, immediate appearances of God, miracles, are 
believed in. 'Vhere, on the other hand, the belief in God is 
identified with the belief in the world, where the belief in God 
is no longer a special faith, where the general being of the 
world takes possession of the whole man, there also vanishes 
the belief in special effects and appearances of God. Be- 
lief in God is wrecked
 is stranded on the belief in the world, 
in natural effects as the only true ones. As here the belief in 
miracles is no longer anything more than the belief in his- 
torical, past miracles, so the existence of God is also only an 
historical, in itself atheistic conception. 


* "Thou hast not to complain that thou art less experienced than was 
Abraham or Isaac. Thou also hast appearances. . . . . . Thon hast holy 
baptism, the supper of the Lord, the bread and wine, which are figures and 
forms, under and in which the present God speaks to thee, and acts upon 
thee, in thy ears, eyes, and heart. . . . . . He appears to thee in baptism, 
and it is he himself who baptizes thee, and speaks to thee. . . . . . Every- 
thing is full of divine appearances and utterances, if he is on thy side."- 
Luther (T. ii. p. 466. See also on this subject, T. xix. p. 407). 



THE COXTRADICTION IN THE REVELATION OF GOD. 203 


CHAIJTER XXI. 


THE CONTRADICTION IN THE REVELATION OF GOD. 


"\V ITH the idea of the existence of God is connected the idea of 
reyelation. God's attestation of his existence, the authentic 
testimony that God exists, is revelation. Proofs drawn froln 
reason are merely. subjective; the objective, the only true proof 
of the existence of God, is his revelation. Go<.l sl)eaks to man; 
l'e-velation is the word of God; he sendt) forth a voice which 
thrills the soul, and gives it the joyful certainty that God really 
is. The word is the gospel of life,-the criterion of existence 
and non-existence. Belief in revelation is the culn1Ïnating' 
point of religious objectivism. The subjective conviction of 
the existence of God here becomes an indubitable, external, 
historical fact. The existence of God, in itself, considered 
simply as existence, is already an external, empirical existence; 
still, it is as yet only thought, conceived, and therefore doubt- 
ful; hence the assertion that all proofs produce no satisfactory 
certainty. This conceptional existence converted into a real 
existence, a fact, is revelation. God has revealed himself, has 
demonstrated himself: who then can have any further doubt? 
The certainty of the existence of God is involved for me in the 
certainty of the revelation. A God who only exists without 
revealing himself, who exists for nle only through nlY own 
mental act, such a God is a merely abstract, Ï111aginary, subjec- 
tive God; a God who gives me a knowledge of himself through 
his own act is alone a God who truly exists, who proyes him- 
self to exist,-an objective God. Faith in revelation is the 
immediate certainty of the religious mind, that what it believes, 
wishes, conceives, rCRlly is. Religion is a dream, in which our 
own conceptions and emotions appear to us as separate exist- 
ences, beings out of ourselves. The religious mind does not 
distinguish between subjective and objective,-it has no douLts; 
it has the faculty, not of discerning other things than itself, 
but of seeing its own conceptions out of itself, as distinct beings. 
"\Vhat is in itself a lnere theory, is to the religious n1Ïlld a prae- 
tical belief, a matter of conscience,-a fact. A fact is that 



204 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


which from being an object of the intellect 1ecolnes a matter 
of conscience; a fact is that which one cannot criticise or 
attack without being guilty of a crime;* a fact is that which 
one must believe nolens 
'olens; a fact is a physical force, not 
an argument,-it makes no appeal to the reason. 0 ye short- 
sighted religious philosophers of Gennany, who fling at our 
heads the facts of the religious consciousness, to stun our 
reas.on and make us the slaves of your childish superstition,- 
do you not see that facts are just as relative, as various, as 
subjective, as the ideas of the different religions? 'Vere not 
the Goels of Olympus also facts, self-attesting existences?t 
'Vere not the ludicrous miracles of paganism regarded a
 facts? 
'Yere not angels and denlons historical persons? Did they 
not really appear to men? Did not Balaam's ass really speak? 
'Vas not the btory of Balanm's ass just as luuch believed even 
by enlightened scholars of the last century, as the Incarnation 
or any other mÜ.acle? A fact, I repeat, is a conception about 
the truth of which there is no doubt, because it is no object of 
theory, but of feeling, which desire
 that what it wishes, what it 
believes, should be true. A fact is that, the denial of which is 
forbidden, if not by an extern a] law, Jet by an internal one. 
A fact is every possibility which passes for a reality, every 
conception which, for the age wherein it is held to be f1 fact, 
exprebses a want, anù is for that reason an Ünpas
able lin1Ít of 
the lnind. .A fact is every vásh that projects itself on reality: 
in short, it is everything that is not doubted si1nply because it 
is not-must not be-doubted. 


* The denial of a fact is not a matter of indifference; it is something 
morally evil,-a disowning of what is known to be true. Christianity made 
its articles of faith objective, i. e., undeniable, unassailable facts, thus 
overpowering the reason, and taking the Inind prisoner by the force of 
external reality: herein we have the true explanation why and how 
Christianity, Protestant as well as Catholic, enunciated and enforced with 
all solemnity the principle, that heresy-the denial of an idea or a fact 
which forms an article of faith-is an object of punishment by the tempo- 
ral power, i. e., a crime. 'Vhat in theory is an external fact, becomes in 
practice an external force. In this respect, Christianity is far below 
Iaho- 
Inedanism, to which the crime of heresy is unknown. 
t "Præsentiam sæpe divi suam declarant."-Cicero (de Nat. D. 1. ii.). 
Cicero's works (de N at, D. and de Divinatione) are especially interesting-, be- 
cause the arguments there used for the reality of the objects of pagan fitith, 
are virtually the same as those urged in thè present day by theologians 
and the adherents of positive religion generally, for the reality of the objects 
of Christian faith. 



THE UONTRADICTION IN THE REVELATION OF GOD. 205 


The religious n1Ïnd, according to its nature as hitherto un- 
folded, has the immediate certainty that all its involuntary, 
spontaneous affectiolls are impressions from without, manifes- 
tations of another being. The religious mind makes itself the 
passive, God the active being. God is activity; but that 
which determines him to activity, which causes llis activity 
(originally only omnipotence, potentia) to beconle real activity, 
is not himself,-he needs nothing,-but man, the religious sub- 
ject. At the b<1me time, however, man is reciprocally deter- 
n1Ïned by God; he views himself as passive; 116 receives from 
God determinate revelations, determinate proofs of his exist- 
ence. Thus in revelation man determines hÍ1nself as that which 
determines God, i.e., revelation is simply the self-determination 
of lnan, only that between himself the detenuined, and hÏInself 
the determining, he interposes an object-God, a distinct being. 
God is the medium by whieh man brings nbout the reconcili- 
ation of himself with his own nature: God is the bond, the 
rinclliunt sllbstantiale, between the es::,entiaillature-the species 
-and the individual. 
The belief in revelation exhibits in the clearest manner the 
characteristic illusion of the religious consciousness. The 
general premiss of this belief is: man can of himself kno,v 
nothing of God; all his knowledge is Inerely vain, earthly, 
human. But God is a superhuman being; God is known only 
by himself. Thus we know nothing of God beyond what he 
reveals to us. The kno,vledge imparted by God is alone diyine, 
superhuman, supernatural knowledge. By means of revelation, 
therefore, we know God through hinu5elf; for revelation is the 
word of God-God declaring himself. Hence, in the belief in 
revelation nlan makes himself a negation, he goes out of and 
above himself; he places revelation in opposition to human 
knowledge and opinion; in it is contained a hidden knowledge, 
the fulness of all supersensuons mysteries; here reason must 
hold its peace. But nevertheless the divine revelation is deter- 
nlÏned by the human nature. God speaks not to brutes or 
angels, but to men; hence he uses hunutn speec!l and human 
conceptions. l\Ian is an object to God, before God perceptibly 
inlparts hÌlnself to man; he thinks of man; he determines his 
action in accordance with the nature of luan and his needs. 
God is indeed free in will; he can reveal himself or not; but 
he is not free as to the understanding; he cannot reveal to luan 
whatever he will, but only what is adapted to man, what is com- 



206 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


mensurate with his nature such as it actuallv is; he reveals 
what he must reveal, if his revelation is to b
 a revelation for 
man, and not for some other kind of being. N ow what God 
thinks in relation to man is determined by the idea of man-it 
has arisen out of reflection on human nature. Göd })llts him- 
self in the place of man, and thinks of himself as this other 
being can and should think of him; he thinks of himself, not 
with his own thinking power, but with man's. In the scheme 
of his revelation God must have reference not to himself, but to 
man's power of comprehension. That which comes frol11 G9 d 
to man, COlnes to luan only froln 1Jlan in God, that is, only 
from the ideal nature of man to the phenomenaln1an, from the 
species to the individual. Thus, between the divine revelation 
and the so-called human reason or nature, there is no other 
than an illusory distinction ;-the contents of the divine reve- 
lation are of Inll11an origin, for they have proceeded not from 
God as God, but from God as detennined by 11l1111an reason, 
human wants, that is, directly frOI11 human reason and hUlnan 
wants. And so in revelation man goes out of hiInself, in 
order, by a circuitous path, to return to hin1self! Here we have 
a striking confirmation of the position, that the secret of theo- 
logy is nothing else than anthropology-the" knowledge of God 
nothing else than a knowledge of man! 
Indeed, the religious conscionsness itself admits, in relation 
to past times, the essentially human quality of revelation. The 
religious consciousness of a later age is no longer satisfied with 
a Jehovah who is from head to foot a man, and does not shrink 
from becoming visible as such. It recognises that those were 
merely iInages in which God accommodated hÏ1nself to the com- 
prehension of men in that age, that is, merely human images. 
But it does not apply this mode of interpretation to ideas ac- 
cepted as revelation in the present age, because it is yet itself 
steeped in those ideas. Nevertheless, every revelation is simply 
a revelation of the nature of Iuan to existing men. In revela- 
tion man's latent nature is disclosed to him, becolnes an object 
to him. He is detern1Îned, affected by his own nature as by 
another being; he receives from the hands of God what his 
own unrecognised nature entails upon him as a necessity, under 
certain conùitions of time and circumstance. Reason, the mind 
of the species, operates on the subjective, uncultured luan only 
under the image of a personal being. }Iorallaws have force 
for him only as the commandments of a Divine 'ViII, which has 



THE CONTRA.DICTIO
 IN THE REVELATION OF GOD. 207 


at once the power to punish and the glance which nothing 
escapes. That which his own nature, his reason, his conscience 
says to him, does not bind him, because the subjective, un- 
cultured man sees in conscience, in reason, so far as he 
recognises it as his own, no universal, objective power; hence 
11e 111USt separate from hin1self that which gives him n10rallaws, 
and place it in opposition to himself, as a distinct personal 
being. 
Belief in revelation is a child-like belief, and is only respect- 
able so long as it is child-like. But the child is detern1Ìned 
from without. And revelation has for its oùject to effect by 
God's help, what man cannot attain by himself. Hence, reve- 
lation has been called the education of the human race. This 
is correct; only, revelation must not be regarded as outside the 
nature of man. There is within him an inward necessity which 
impels him to present moral and philosophical doctrines in the 
fOrIn of narratives anù fables, and an equal l1ece::;sity to repre- 
sent that impulse as a revelation. The mythical poet has an 
end in view-that of n1aking men good and wise; he designedly 
adopts the form of fable as the most appropriate and vivid 
method of representation; but at the same time, he is himself 
urged to this mode of teaching by his love of fuùle, by his in- 
ward impulse. So it is with a revelation enunciated by an in- 
dividual. This individual has an aim; but at the same time 
he himself lives in the conceptions by means of which he 
realizes this aim. 1\Iau, by means of the imagination, involun- 
tarily contemplates his inner nature; he represents it as out 
of himself. The nature of lnan, of the species-thus working 
on him through the irresistible power of the imagination, and 
contemplated fU; the law of his thought and action-is God. 
Herein lie the beneficial moral effects of the belief in reve- 
lation. 
But as Nature "unconsciously produces results which look 
as if they were produced consciously," so revelation generates 
moral actions, which do not, however, proceed from morality; 
-moral actions, but no moral dispositions. 1YIoral rules are 
indeed observed, but they are severed from the inward disposi- 
tion, the heart, by being represented as the comnlandments of 
an external law-giver, by being placed in the category of arbi- 
trary laws, police regulations. 'Vhat is done, is done not 
because it is good and right, but because it is commanded by 
God. The inherent quality of the deed is indifferent; what- 



208 


THE ESSENCE OF CHUISTIAXITY. 


ever God commands is right. * If these cOlnnHllHls are in ac- 
cordance with reason, with ethics, it is well; but so far as the 
idea of revelation is concerned, it is accidental. The ceremo- 
nial laws of the Jews were revealed, divine, though in them- 
selves aùventitious and arbitrary. The Jews received from 
Jehovah the cOlnlnand to steal ;-in a special case, it is true. 
But the belief in revelation not only injures the moral sense 
and taste,-the æsthetics of virtue; it poisons, nay it destroys, 
the divinest feeling in man-the sense of truth, the perception 
and sentiment of truth. The revelation of God is a determinate 
revelation, given at a particular epoch: God revealed himself 
once for all in the year so and so, and that, not to the universal 
Jnan, to the lnan of all times and places, to the reason, to the 
species, but to certain limited indiyiduals. A revelation in a 
given tÌIne and place nlust be fixed in writing, that its blessings 
may be transmitted uninjured. Hence the belief in revelation 
is, at least for those of a subsequent age, belief in a written 
revelation; but the necessary consequence of a faith in which 
an historical book, neceBsarily subject to all the conditions of a 
temporal, finite production, is regarded as an eternal, absolute, 
universally authoritative word, is-Buperstition and sophistry. 
Faith in a written revelation is a real, unfeigned, and so far 
respectable faith, only where it is believed that all in the sacred 
writings is significant, true, holy, divine. \Yhere, on the con- 
trary, the distinction is Inade between the human and divine, 
the relatively true and the absolutely true, the historical and 
the permanent,-where it is not held that all without distinc- 
tion is ulH
onditionally true; there the verdict of unbelief, 
that the Bible is no divine book, is already introduced into the 
interpretation of the Bible,-there, at least inùirectly, that is, 
in a crafty, dishonest way, its title to the character of a divine 
revelation is denied. Unity, unconditionality, freedom from 
exceptions, imluediate certitude, is alone the character of 
diyinity. A book that imposes on me the necessity of discri- 
mination, the neùe::,::,ity of criticism, in order to separate the 


* "Quod crudeliter ab hominibus sine Dei jussu fieret aut factum est, id 
debuit ab Hebrai8 fieri, quia a deo vitæ et necis summo arbitrio, .iu

i bellum 
ita gerebant."-J. Clericus (Comm. in 1\108. Num. c. 31, 7). "l\lulta gessit 
Samson, quæ vix possent defendi, nisi Dei, a quo homines pendent, instru- 
mentum fuisse censeatur."-Ib, (Comm. in JuÙÌcum, c. 14, 19). See also 
Luther, e. 9. (T. i. p. 339, T. xvi. p. 495). 



THE CONTRADICTION IN THE REVELATION OF GOD. 209 


divine from the human, the pernHlnent from the temporary, is 
no longer a divine, certain, infallible Look,-it is degraded to 
the rank of profane books; for every profane book has the 
s
une quality, that together with or in the human it contains 
the divine, that is, together with or in the individual it con- 
tains the universal and eternal. But that only is a truly divine 
book in which there is not merely sonlething good and some- 
thing bad, something permanent and something temporary, but 
in which all comes as it were .ii'om one crucible, all is eternal, 
true and good. 'Yhat sort of a revelation is that in which I 
must first listen to the apostle Pau], then to Peter, then to 
J ames, then to John, then to 1\Iatthew, then to 1\Iark, then 
to Luke, until at last I come to a passage where nlY soul, 
athirst for God, can cry out: EUREKA! here speaks the Holy 
Spirit himself! here is sonlething for lne, son1ething for all 
tin1es and all men. How true, on the contrary, was the con- 
ception of the old faith, when it extended inspiration to the 
very words, to the very letters of Scripture! The word is not a 
matter of indifference in relation to the thought; a definite 
thought can only be rendered by a definite word. Another 
word, another letter-another sense. I t is true that such faith 
is superstition; but this superstition is alone the true, undis- 
guised, open faith, which is not ashamed of its consequences. 
If God numbers the hairs on the head of a man, if no sparrow 
falls to the grounù without his will, how coulù he leave to the 
stupidity and caprice of scribes his 'Y ord-that word on which 
depends the everlasting salvation of man? 'Vhy should he not 
dictate his thoughts to their pen in order to guard them from 
the possibility of disfiguration ?-" But if man were a mere 
organ of the Holy Spirit, human freedom would be abolished!"* 
Oh 'what a pitiable argument! Is Inunan freedonl, then, of 
more value than divine truth? Or does human freedom con- 
sist only in the distortion" of divine truth? 
And just as necessarily as the belief in a determinate histori- 
cal revelation is associated with superstition, ::30 necessarily is it 


* It was very justly remarked by the J ansenists against the Jesuits: 
" V ouloir reconnoitre dans l'Ecriture quelque chose de la foiblesse et de 
l'esprit naturel de l'homìne, c'est donner la liberté à chacun d'en faire Ie 
discernement et de rejetter ce qui Iui plaira de l'Eeriture, comme venant 
plûtot de la foiblesse de l'homme que de l'e
prit de Dieu."-13ayle (Diet. art. 
Adam (Jean) Rem. E.) 



210 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


associated with sophistry. The Bible contradicts morality, 
contradicts reason, contradicts itself, innumerable times; and 
yet it is the worel of God, eternal truth, and "truth cannot 
contradict itself."* How does the believer in revelation elude 
this contradiction between the idea in his own mind, of revela- 
tion as divine, harmonious truth, and this supposed actual 
revelation? Only by self-deception, only by the silliest subter- 
fuges, only by the most miserable, transparent sophisms. 
Chl'istian sophistry is the necessary product of Christian faith, 
eSl)ecially of faith in the Bible as a divine revelation. 
Truth, absolute truth, is given objectively in the Bible, sub- 
jectively in faith; for towarùs that which God himself speaks I 
can only be believing, resigned, receptive. Nothing is left to 
the understanding, the reason, but a fornu'll, subordinate office; 
it has a false position, a position essentially contradictory to 
its nature. The unùerstanding in itself is here indifferent to 
truth, inùifferent to the distinction between the true and the 
false; it has no criterion in itself; whatever is found in reve- 
lation is true, even when it is in direct contradiction with 
reason. The understanding is helplessly given over to the hap- 
hazard of the most ignoble empiricism ;-whatever I find in 
divine revelation I must believe, and if necessa.ry, my under- 
standing nlust defend it; the understanding is the watch-dog 
of revelation; it must let everything without distinction be 
imposed on it as truth,-discrinÜnation would be doubt, would 
be a crime: consequently, nothing remains to it but an ad- 
ventitious, indifferent, i. e., disingenuous, sophistical, tortuous 
mode of thought, which is occupied only with groundless 
distinctions and subterfuges, with ignon1Ínious tricks and 
eyasions. But the lllore man, by the lu'ogrf'ss of tinle, beCOllles 
estranged from revelation, the more the understanding ripens 
into independence,-the n10re glaring, necessarily, appears the 
contradiction between the understanding and belief in revela- 
tion. The believer can then IH'ove revelation only by incurring 
contradiction with himself, with truth, with the understanding, 
only by the most in1pudent assuIDl)tions, only by shameless 
falsehoods, only by the sin against the Holy Ghost. 


* "
ec in scriptura divina fas sit sentire a1iquid contral'ietatis. " -Petrus 
L. (1. ii. dist. ü. c. i.). Similar thoughts are found in the Fathers. 



THE CONTRADICTION IN THE NATURE OF GOD. 211 


CHAPTER XXII. 


THE CO
TRADICTIO
 IN THE NATURE OF GOD 
I
 GENERAL. 


THE grand principle, the central point of Christian sophistry, 
is the idea of God. God is the human being, and yet he must 
be regarded as another, a superhuman being. God is universal, 
abstract Being, simply the idea of Being; and yet he must be 
conceived as a personal, individual being ;-01' God is a person, 
and yet he must be regarded as God, as universal, i.e., not as 
a personal being. God is; his existence is certain, more certain 
than ours; he has an existence distinct from us and from things 
in general, i.e., an individual existence; anel yet his existence 
must be held a spiritual one, i.e., an existence not perceptible 
as a special one. One half of the definition is always in con- 
tradiction with the other half: the statement of what must be 
held always annihilates the statelnent of what is. The funda- 
mental idea is a contradiction which ean be concealed only by 
sophisms. A God who does not trouble himself about us, ,vho 
does not hear our prayers, who does not see us and love us, is 
no God; thus humanity is made an essential predicate of 
God;-but at the same tinle it is said: a God who does not 
exist in and by himself, out of men, above men, as another 
heing, is a phantom; and thus it is made an essential predicate 
of God that he is non-human and extra-human. A. God who 
is not as we are, who has 110t consciousness, not intelligence, 
i.e., not a personal understanding, a personal consciousness, (as, 
for example, the" substance" of t;pinoza,) is no God. Essential 
identity with us is the chief condition of deÜy; the idea of deity 
is made dependent on the idea of personality, of consciousness, 
quo nihil 1Jlajlls cogitari lJotest. But, it is said in the same 
breath, a God who is not essentially distinguished from us is 
no God. 
The essence of religion is the immediate, involuntary, un
 
conscious contemplation of the hU1l1an nature as another, a 
distinct nature. But when this projected image of hUlnan 



212 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


nature is lnade an object of reflection, of theology, it becollles 
an inexhaustible mine of falsehoods, illusions, contradictions, 
and sophislllS. 
A peculiarly characteristic artifice and pretext of Christian 
sophistry is the doctrine of the unsearchableness, the in- 
comprehensibility of the divine nature. But, as will be shown, 
the secret of this incomprehensibility is nothing further than 
that a known quality is lnade into an unknown one, a natural 
quality into a supernatural, i,e., an unnatural one, so as to 
produce the appearance, the illusion, that the divine nature 
is different from the human, anù is eo ipso an incompre- 
hensible one. 
In the original sense of religion, the incomprehensibility of 
God has only the significance of an impassioned expression. 
Thus, when we are affected by a surprising phenomenon, we 
exclaim: It is incredible, it is beyond conception! though 
afterwards, when we recover our self-possession, we find the 
object of our astonishment nothing less than incomprehensible. 
In the truly religious sense, inconlprehensiLility is not the 
(lead full stop which reflection places wherever understanding 
deserts Ü, but a pathetic note of excht1l1ation 11lHrking the inl- 
pression which the irnagination makes on tlle feelings. The 
imagination is the original organ of religion. Between God 
and man, in tIle prin1Ïtiye sense of religion, there is on the one 
hand only a distinction in relation to exibtence, according to 
which God as a self-subsistent being is the antithesis of llHln 
as a dependent being; on the other hand there is only a 
quantitatire distinctj..on, i. c., a distinction derived fronl the 
imagination, for tbe distinctions of the inulgination are only 
quantitative. The infinity of God in religion is quantitative 
infinitv; God is and has all that man has, but in an infinitely 
greater m
asure. The nature of God is the nature of th
 
Íluagination unfolded, made objective,* God is a being con- 
ceived under the forms of the senses, but freed from the lin1Ïts 
of sense,-a being at once unlinlÍted and sensational. But 
what is the imagination ?-IÍlnitless activity of the senses. God 


* This is especially apparent in the superlative, and the preposition 
super, V1fEp, which cli:;tinguish the di\Tine predicates, and which very early- 
as, for example, with the N eo- Platonist:;, the Christians among heathen 
philosophers-pla;yed a chief part in theology. 



THE CONTRADICTION IN THE NATURE OF GOD. 213 


is eternal, i,e., he exists at all times; God is omnipresent, i.e., he 
exists in all places; God is the omniscient being, i.e., the being 
to whom every individual thing, every sensible existence, is 
an object without distinction, without limitation of time and 
place. 
Eternity and omnipresence are sensational qualities, for in 
them there is no negation of existence in time and space, but 
only of exclusive limitation to a particular time, to a particular 
place. In like manner omniscience is a sensational quality, 
a sensational know ledge. Religion has no hesitation in attri- 
buting to God himself the nobler senses: God sees nnd hears 
all things. But the divine onlniscience is a power of knowing 
through the senses while yet the necessary quality, the essen- 
tial determination of actual knowlpdge through the senses is 
denied to it. 1\ly senses present sensible objects to me only 
separately and in succession; but God sees all sensible things 
at once, all locality in an unlocal manner, all temporal things 
in an untemporal manner, all objects of sense in an unsensa- 
tional n1anner.* That is to say: I extend the horizon of my 
senses by the imagination; I form to myself a confused con- 
ception of the whole of things; and this conception, which 
exalts me above the limited stand-point of the senses, and 
therefore affects me agreeably, I posit as a divine reality. I 
feel the fact that my knowledge is tied to a local stand-point, 
to sensational experience, as a limitation; what I feel as a 
limitation I do away with in my imagination, which furnishes 
free space for the play of my feelings. This negativing of 
limits by the imagination is the positing of omniscience as a 
divine power and reality. But at the same time there is only 
a qUClllÛt(ttÎ1:e distinction Letween olnniscience and IllY know- 
ledge; the quality of the knowledge is the same. In fact it 
would be iInpossiLle for me to predicate omniscience of an 
ol)ject or being external to myself, if this omniscience were 
essentially different from my own knowledge, if it were not a 
mode of perception of my own, if it had nothing in common 
with my own power of cognition. That which is reeognised 
by the senses is as nluch the object and content of the divine 


:)(: "Scit itaque Deus, quanta sit multitudo puIicum, culicum, muscarum et 
pi
cium et quot na
('antur, quotve moriantur, 
ed non scit hoc per momenta 
singula, imo simul et semelomllia."-Petrus L. (1. i. dist. 39. c. 3). 



214 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


omniscience as of my knowledge. Imagination does away only 
with the lin1Ït of quantity, not of quality. The proposition 
that our knowledge is limited, means: we know only some 
things, a few things, not all. 
The beneficial influence of religion rests on this extension 
of the sensational consciousness. In religion man is in the 
open air, sub deo; in the sensational consciousness he is in 
his narrow confined dwelling-house. Religion has relation 
essentially, originally-and only in its origin is it something 
holy, true, pure, and good-to the imlnediate sensational con- 
sciousness alone; it is the setting aside of the lin1Ïts of sense. 
Isolated, uninstructed men and nations preserve religion in 
its original sense, because they themselves remain in that 
mental state which is the source of religion. The more 
limited a man's sphere of vision, the less he knows of history, 
Nature, philosophy- the more ardently does he cling to his 
religion. 
For this reason the religious man feels no need of culture. 
'Vhy had the Hebrews no art, no science, as the Greeks had? 
Because they felt no need of it. To them this need ,,"'as sup- 
plied by Jehovah. In the divine omniscience man raises him- 
self above the limits of his own. knowledge;* in the divine 
omnipresence, above the limits of his local stand-point; in the 
divine eternity, above the limits of his time. The religious 
man is happy in his imagination; he has all things in nllce,. 
his possessions are always portable. Jehovah accompanies 
me everywhere; I need not travel out of myself; I have in my 
God the sun1 of all treasures and precious things, of all that is 
worth knowledge and remembrance. But culture is dependent 
on external things; it has many and various wants, for it 
overcomes the limits of sensational conseiousness and life by 
real activity, not by the magical power of the religious imagi- 
nation. Honce the Christian religion also, as has been often 
mentioned already, has in its essence no principle of culture, 
for it trÎlunphs over the limitations and difficulties of earthly 
life only through the imagination, only in God, in heaven. 
God is a 11 that the heart needs und desÜ'es-all good things, 
all blessings. "Dost thou desire love, or faithfulness, or 


* "Qui scientem cuncta sciunt, quid nescire neq ueunt P" - Liber Meditat. 

. 26 (among the sl)urious writings of Augustine).. 



THE CONTRADICTION IN THE NATURE OF GOD. 2] 5 


truth, or consolation, or perpetual presence, this is always in 
Hinl without measure. Dost thou desire beauty-He is the 
supremely beautiful. Dost thou desire riches-all riches are 
in Him. Dost thou desire power-He is supremely powerful. 
Or whatever thy heart desires, it is found a thousandfold in 
Hinl, in the best, the single good, which is God." * But how 
can he who has all in God, who already enjoys heavenly bliss 
.in the inlagination, expel'ience that want, that sense of poverty, 
which is the impulse to all culture? Culture has no other 
ohject than to realize an earthly heaven; and the religious 
heaven is only realized or won by religious activity. 
The difference, however, between God and man, which is 
originally only quantitative, is by reflection developed into a 
qualitative difference; and thus what was originally only an 
emotional impression, an immediate expression of admiration, 
of ral)ture, an influence of the inlagination on the feelings, has 
fixity given to it as an objective quality, as real incomprehen- 
sibility. The favourite expression of reflection in relation to 
this subj ect is, that we can indeed know concerning God that 
he has such and such attributes, but not how he has them. 
For exanlple, that the predicate of the Creator essentially 
belongs to God, that he created the ,yorId, and not out of 
matter already existing, but out of nothing, by an act of 
almighty power,-this is clear, certain-yes, indubitable; but 
how this is possible naturally passes our understanding. That 
is to say: the generic idea is clear, certain, but the specific 
idea is unclear, uncertain. 
The idea of activity, of making, of creation, is in itself a 
divine idea; it is therefore unhesitatingly applied to God. 
In activity, man feels himself free, unlimited, happy; in pas- 
sivity, limited, oppressed, unhappy. Activity is the positive 
sense of one's personality. That is positive which in nlan is 
accompanied with joy; hence God is, as we have already said, 
the idea of pure, unlimited joy. 'Ve succeed only in what we 
do ,villingly; joyful effort conquers all things. But that is 
jOJ-ful activity which is in accordance with our nature, 
which we do not feel as a limitation, and consequently 
not as a constraint. And the happiest, the most blissful 
activity is that which is productive. To read is delightful, 


* Tauler, 1. c. p. 312 



216 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIAKITY. 


reading is passive activity; hut to produce what IS worthy 
to be read is more delightful still. I t is more blessed to 
give than to receive. Hence this attribute of the species- 
productive activity-is assigned to God; that is, realized and 
made objective as divine activity. But every special determi- 
nation, every 'mode of activity is abstracted, and only the 
fundamental determination, which however is essentially 
human, namely, production of what is external to self, is re- 
tained. God has not, like man, produced something in l)arti- 
cular, this or that, but all things; his activity is absolutely 
uni\ersal, unlimited. Hence it is self-evident, it is a necessarv 
consequence, that the mode in which God has produced th
 
All is incomprehensi.ble, because this activity is no mode of 
activity, because the question concerning the how is here an 
absurdity, a question which is excluded by the funda1nental 
idea of unlimited activity. Every special activity produces its 
effects in a speciallnanner, because there the activity it.self is 
a determinate mode of activity; and thence necessarily arises 
the question: How did it produce this? But the answer to the 
question: How did God make the world? has necessarily a 
negative issue, because the world-creating activity in itself 
negatives every determinate activity, such as would alone 
,van'ant the question, every nlode of activity connected with a 
detenninate medium, i. e., with matter. This question illegiti- 
mately foists in between the subject or producing activity, and 
the object or thing produced, an irrelevant, nay, an excluded 
intermediate idea, namely, the idea of particular, individual 
existence. The actiyity in question has relation only to the 
collective-the All, the world; God created all things, not 
some particular thing; the indefinite whole, the All, as it is 
embraced by the imagination,-not the determinate, the parti- 
cular, as, in its particularity, it presents itself to the senses, an(l 
as, in its totality as the universe, it presents itself to the reason. 
E very particular thing arises in a natural way; it is something 
determinate, and as such it has-what it is only tautology to 
state-a determinate cause. I t was not God, but carbon, that 
produced the diaInond: a given salt owes its origin, not to 
God, but to the combination of a particular acid with a par- 
ticular base. God only created all things together without 
distinction. 
It is true that according to the religious conception, God has 
created every individual thing, as included in the whole ;-but 



THE CONTRADICTION IN THE NATURE OF GOD. 217 


only indirectly; for he has not 'produced the individual in an 
individual manner, the detern1Ïnate in a determinate manner; 
otherwise he would be a detenninate or cOllditioned being. 
It is certainly incoInprehensible how out of this general, 
indeterminate or unconditioned activity the particular, the 
detenninate, can have proceeded; but it is so only because I 
here intrude the object of sensational, natural experience, 
because I assign to the divine actiyity another object than 
that which is proper to it. Religion has no physical con- 
ception of the world; it has no interest in a natural expla- 
nation, which can never be given hut with a mode of origin. 
Origin is a theoretical, natural-philqsophical idea. The 
heathen philosophers busied themselves with the origin of 
things. But the Christian religious consciousness abhorred 
this idea as heathen, irreligious, and substituted the practical 
or suhjective idea of Creation, whieh is nothing else than a 
prohibition to conceive things ns having arisen in a natural 
way, an interdict on all physical science. The religious con- 
sciousness connects the world immediately with God; it derives 
all from God, because nothing is nn object to hinl in its par- 
ticularity anel reality, nothing is to hÌ1n as it presents itself to 
our reason. .AJI proceeds from God :-that is enough, that 
perfectly satisfies the religious consciousness. The question, 
how did God create? is an indirect doubt that he dill create the 
world. It was this question which brought man to atheism, 
materialism, naturalism. To him who asks it, the wod(l is 
alrf'a(ly an object of theory, of physical science, i. e., it is an 
object to hiIn in its reality, in its determinate constituents. It 
is this nlode of viewing the world which contradicts the idea. 
of unconditioned, immaterial activity: and this contradiction 
leads to the negation of the fundamental idea-the creation. 
The creation by olnnipotence is in its place, is a truth, only 
when all the phenomena of the \Yorld are derived froln God. 
It hecomes, as has been nlready obsf'rved, a myth of past 
agés where physical science introduces itself, where man Inakes 
the detern1Ínate causes, the how of phenolnena, the object of 
investigation. To the religious consciousness, therefore, the 
creation is nothing incolnprehensihle, i. e., unsatisfying; at 
least it is so only in momf'nts of irreligiousness, of doubt, when 
the lllind turns away froln God to actual things; but it is 
highly unsatisfactory to reflection, to theology, which looks 
with one eye at heaven and with the other at earth. As the 
L 



218 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


cause, so is the effect. A flutê sends forth the tones of a flute, 
not those of a bassoon or a trunlpet. If thou hearest the tones 
of a bassoon, but hast never before seen or heard any willd- 
instrlllllent but the flute, it will certainly be inconceivable to 
thee how such tones can cOlne out of a flute. Thus it is here :- 
the comparison is onl
T so far inappropriate as the flute itself is 
a particular instnunent. But Í1nngine, if it he possible, un 
absolutely universal instrument, which united in itself all 
instrumeitts, without being itself a particular one; thou wilt 
then see that it is an absurd contradiction to desire a particular 
tone which only belongs to a l)èuticular instnunent, fronl an 
instruluent which thou hast diyested precisely of that which is 
characteristic in all particular instruments. 
But there also lies at the foundation of this doglna of incoIll- 
prehensibility the design of keeping the divine activity apart 
froln the human, of doing away with their sinlilarity, or rather 
their essential iclentity, so as to make the divine activity 
essentially different from the lnunan. This distinction between 
the divine and IHunan activity is "nothing:' God Inakes,- 
he makes sOInet11Ïng external to hill1self, as man does. :ThIaking 
is a genuine hunlan iclea. K nture gives birth to, brings forth; 
man makes. :ThIaking is an act which I can on1Ït, a designed, 
prelneditated, external act ;-an act in which my inmost being 
is not Ílnmediately concerned, in whie-h, while actiye, I alll not 
at the saIne tÍJl1e passive, carried away by an internal impulse. 
On the contrary, an activity which i
 identical with my being 
is not inllifterent, is necessary to me, a" for exanlple intellectual 
production, which is an inward necessity to nle; and for that 
reason lays a deep hold on me, affeets me pathologically. 
Intellectual works are not nlade,-lnaking Ü; only the external 
activity applied to theIn ;-they arise in us. 1'0 (make is an 
iu(lifferent, therefore fI free, i. e., optional activity. Thus far 
then -that He makes-Go(l is entirely at one with luan, 
not at all distinguishe(l fronl him; but "an especial enlphasis 
is laid on this, that his nluking is free, arbitrary, at hi
 
pleasure. "T t has pleased God" to create a world. Thus lllau 
here (leifies satisfaction in self-l)leasing, in caprice and ground- 
less arbitrariness. The fundmnentallv hunlan character of the 
divine activity is by the Í<.lea of al'Liti'arine
s degraded into a 
human nlanifestation of a low kind; God, froln a lllÍrror of 
human nature is converted into a mirror of human vanity and 
self-colllplacen cy, w 



THE CONTRADICTION IN THE NATURE OF GOD. 219 


And now all at once the harmony is changed into discord; 
man, hitherto at one with hÏ111self, becolnes divided :-God 
nwkes out of nothing; he creates,-to make out of nothing is 
to ereate,-this is the distinction. The positive conditioll- 
the act uf making-i
 a human one; but inaSll1Uch as all that 
is detenninate in this conception is inllnec1iately denieù, reflec- 
tion steps in and n1akes the divine actiyity not lannan. But 
with this negation, conlpl'ehension, unùerstanding comes to a 
stand; there renuÜns only a negatiye, empty notion, because 
conceivability is already exhausted, i,e" the distinction between 
the divine and hUllwn determination is in truth a nothing, 
a nihil Jle[lllticll1n of the understanding. The naïve confes- 
sion of this is made in the supposition of "nothing" as an 
object, 
God is Love, but not lllunan love; Understanùing, but not 
hUll1an understanding,-no! an essentially different under- 
standing. But wherein consists this difference? I cannot 
conceive an understanding which acts under other fo1'n18 than 
those of our own un(lerstanding; I cannot halve or quarter 
understanding so as to have several understandings; 1 can 
only conceive one and the sanle understanding. It is true that 
I ('an and even must conceive understanding in itself, i.e., free 
fron1 the lÍ1nits of nlY individuality; but in so doing I only 
release it from limitations essentially foreign to it; I do not 
set aside its essential deternlÌnations or fonns. Religious re- 
flection, on the contrary, denies precisely t11at detenllination 
01' quality which Inakes a thing what it Ü;. Only that in which 
the divine understanding is identical with the 1111lnnn, is 
something, is understanùing, is a real idea; while that which 
is supposed to nlake it another, yes, e:::,sentially another 
than the lnullan, is objectively nothing, subjectively a 111ere 
chimera. 
In all other definitions of the Diyine Being the "nothing" 
which constitutes the distinction is hidden; in the creation, on 
the contrary, it is an evident, declared, objective nothing ;-nnd 
is therefore the official, notorious llothing of theology in dis- 
tinction from anthropology. 
But the fundmnental detenllination bv which man makes his 
own nature a foreign, incomprehensiblè nature, is the idea of 
individuality 01'-\\ hat is only a Inore abstract expression-per- 
sonality. The idea of the existence of God first realize's 
itself iil the idea. of reyelation, uncI the idea of reyelation first 
J
 2 



220 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


realizes itself in the idea of personality. God is a personal 
being :-this is the spell, which charnls the ideal into the real, 
the subjective into the objective. All predicates, all attributes 
of the divine being are fundamentally human; but as attributes 
of a personal being, and therefore of a being distinct from nlan 
and existing independently, they appear immediately to be 
really other than lnunan, yet so as that at the sanle tinle the 
essential identity always rmnains at tIle foundation. Hence 
reflection gives rise to the idea of so-called anthropomorphisms. 
An throponlorphisnls are resenl blnnces betw
en God and nIan. 
The attributes of the divine and of the hUlnan being are not 
indeed the t-imne, hut they are analogous. 
Thus personality is the antidote to Pantheism; i. e., by the 
idea of personality religious reflel'tion expels froln its thought 
the identity of the divine and hUI1lan nature. The rude but 
characteri;tic pxpres::,ion of pantheism is: man is an effluence 
or a portion of the divine being; the religious expression is : 
man Ü, the image of God, or a being akin to Go(l ;-for accord- 
ing to religion man does not spring fi'om Nature, but is of divine 
race, of divine origin. But kinship i
 a vague, evasive expres- 
sion. There are degrees of kinship, near and distant. 'Vhat 
sort of kinship is intended? }'or the relation of man to God, 
there is but one funn of kinship which is appropriate,-the 
nearest, profoundest, most sacred that can be cOllceived,-the 
relation of the chilù to the father. According' to this God is 
the Father of man, man the son, the child of God. Here is 
J)osited at once the self-subsistence of God and the depen- 
dence of In an, anù posited as an immediate object of feeling; 
wherea
 in Pantheism the part appears just ftS sf'lf-subsistent as 
the whole, since this is represented ftS nlade up of its parts. 
Nevertheless this distinction is only an appearance. The father 
is not a father without the child; both together form a cor- 
related being. In love man renounces his independence, llnd 
reduces hilnself to tt part :-a self-Inulliliation which is only 
conlpensated by the fact that the one whom he loves at the 
8ame tÌ1ne voluntarily LetOlUes a part also; that they both t;uL- 
lnit to a higher power, the power of the spirit of fan1Ïly, the 
})ower of love. Thus there is here the :::;allle relation between 
God and DUtIl as in pantheism, save thnt in the one it is repre- 
sented as a persunal, patriarchal relation, in the other as nn inl- 
personal, g'éneral one,-save that pantlH'ism expresses log-icnlly 
and therefore definitely, directly, what religion invests with the 



THE CONTRADICTION IN THE NATURE OF GOD. 221 


imagination. The correlation or rather the identity of God and 
man is veiled in religion by representing both as persons or 
individuals, and God as a self-subsistent, independent being 
apart from his paternity:-an independence whieh however is 
only apparent, for he who, like the God of religion, is a father 
from the depths of the heart, has his very life and being in his 
child. 
The reciprocal and profound relation of ùepenelence between 
God as father andlnan as child, cannot be shaken by the distinc- 
tion, that only Christ is the true, natural son of God, anel that 
l1len are but his adopted sons; so that it is only to Christ as the 
only-begotten Son, and by no mean::, to men, that God stands 
in an essential re]atioll of dependence. For this distinction is 
only a theological, i. e" an illusory one. God adopts only men, 
not brutes. The ground of aeloption lies in the 11'llJnan nature. 
The man adopteel by diyine grace is only the man eonscious of 
his divine nature anel dignity. 1\Ioreover, the only-begotten 
Son himself is nothing else than the idea of humanity, than man 
l)reoccupied with hilnself, man hiding fronl himself and the 
,yorld in God,-the heavenly man. The Logos is latent, tacit 
man; man is the revealed, expressed Logos. The Logos is 
only the prelude of man. That which applies to the Logos 
applies also to the nature of lnan.* But between Goel and the 
only-begotten Son there is no real distinction,-he who knows 
the Son knows the Father also,-anù thus there is none between 
Goel and man. 
It is the sallle with the idea that man is the inlage of God. 
The image is here no (lead, inanimate thing, but a living being. 
"l\Ian is the image of God," 11leanS nothing 1110re than that 
man is a being who resembles God. SiInilarity between living 
beings rests on natural relationship. The idea of luan being 
the image of God reduces itself therefore to kinship; man is 
like God, because he is the child of God. ReselnLlance is only 
kinship presented to the senses; from the fornler we infer the 
latter. 
But resemblance is just as deceptive, illusory, evasive an idea 


* "The clm;;est union which Christ pOf-:scssed with the Father, it is 
possible for me to win. . . . . . All that God gave to his only-beg-otten 
Son, he has given to me as perfectly as to him."-Predigten etzlicher Lehrer 
vor und zu Tauleri Zeiten. Hamburg', 1621, p. let. "Between the only- 
begotten Son and the Soul there is no distinction."-Ib, p. 68. 



222 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


as kinship. It is onl
'" tbe idea of personality which does away 
.with the identity of nature. Resemblance is identity which 
will not achnit itself to be identitv, which hides itself behind a 
dim meditun, behind the vapour 
f the imagination. If I dis- 
perse this vapour, I come to naked identity. The nlore sÏ1nilar 
beings are, the le
::; are they to be distinguished; if I know the 
one, I know the other. It is true that rese1l1blance has its de- 
grees. But also the reselnblance between God and man has 
its degrees. The good, piou s nlan is more like God than the 
lllan whose reselllblance to Him is founded only on the nature 
of man in general. Ancl even with the pious lnan there is a 
llighest degree of resemblance to be supposed, though this may 
not be obtained here below, but only in the future life. TIut 
that which man is to become, belongs already to hÏ1n, at least 
so Ütr as possibility is concerned. The highest degree of re- 
semblance. is that where there is no further distinction between 
two individuals or beings than that they are two. The e

en- 
tial qualities, those by which we distinguish things from each 
other, are the Salne in both. Hence I cannot distinguish them 
in thought, by the Reason,-for this all data are wanting ;-1 
can only distinguish then1 by figuring them as yisible in my 
imagination or by actually seeing then1. If 111Y eyes do not 
say-there are rea1Jy two separately existent beings, my reason 
.will take both for one and the same being. Nay, eyen my eyes 
may confound the one with the other. Things are capable 
of heing confounded with each other which are distinguishable 
by the sense anel not by the reason, or ratber which are differ- 
ent only as to existence, not as to essence. l)e1'sons altogether 
alike have an extraordinary attraction not only for each other, 
but for the iInagination. Re::;enlblance gives o
cfl::;ion to all 
kinds of .mystifications and illusions, because it is itself only an 
illusion; l
y eyes mock Iny reason, for which the idea of an 
independent existence is always allied to 
he idea of a determi- 
nate difference. 
Heligion is the lnind's light, the rays of,yhich nre broken by 
the 111editun of the ilnagination and the feelings, so as to make 
the same being appear a cloll LIe one. HesernLlance is to 
the Reason identity, which in the realm of reality is divided 
or broken up by {mnlediate sensational Ï1npresstons, in the 
sphere of religion by the illusions of the imagination; in short, 
that which is Ülentical to the reason is Iuade separate by the idea 
of individuality or personality. I can discover no distinction 



THE COKTRADICTION IN THE NATURE OF GOD. 223 


between father Rnd child, archetype and image, God and nlan, 
if I do not introduce the idea of personality. ReseInblance is 
here the external guise of identity ;-the identity which reason, 
the sense of truth, affinns, but which the imagination denies; 
the identity which allows an appearance of distinction to re- 
main,-a 111e1'e phantaslu, which says neither directly yes, nor 
directly no. 



22
 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


CHAPTER XXIII. 


THE CO:NTRADICTIO
 IN THE SPECULATIVE DOCTRINE 
OF GOD. 


THE personality of God is thus the means by which man con- 
verts the qualities of his own nature into the qualities of 
another being,-of a Leing external to hÍ1nself. The person- 
ality of God is nothing else than the projecteù personality of 
man. 
On this process of proj ecting self outwards rests also the 
Hegelian speculative doctrine, according to .which 'JJlan'.ç con- 
sciousness of God is the self:conscionsness of God. God is 
thought, cognized by us. Accorùing to speculation, God, in 
being thought by us, thinks hÌ1nself or is conscious of hiu1self; 
speculation identifies the two sides which religion separates. 
In this it is far deeper than religion, for the fact of God being 
thought is not Eke the fact of an external object being thought. 
God is an inward, spiritual being; thinking, consciousness, 
is an inward, spiritual act; to think Go(l is therefore to affirn1 
what God is, to eRtablish the being of God as an act. That 
God is thought, cognized, is essential; that this tree is thought, 
is to the tree accidental, unessential. God is an indispensable 
thought, a necessity of thought. But how is it possible that 
this necessity s
lould simply express the subjective, and not 
the objeotive also? - how is it possible that God-if he 
is to exist for us, to be an object to US-Inust necessarily 
be thought, if he is in himself like a block, indifferent 
whether he be thought, cognized or not? No! it is not 
possiLle. \Ve are necessitated to regard the fact of God being 
thought by us, us his thinking hinlself, or his self-conscious- 
ness. 
Religious objectivism has two passives, two modes in which 
God is thought. On the one hand, God is thought by liS, on 
the other, he is thought by himself. God thinks hiInself, inde- 
pendently of his being thought by us: hp has a self-conscious- 
ness distinct from, independent of, our consciousness. This is 



SPECULATIYE DOCTRINE OF GOD. 


225 


certninly consistent when once Goel is conceived as a renl 
per::;onality; for the realluunan per
on think
 hÍ1llself, anù it! 
thought by another; my thinking of hÍ1n is to hÍ1u an in- 
different, external fact. This is the last degree of anthropo- 
pathism. In order to make God free and independent of all 
that is human, he is regarded a
 a fOrInal; real person. his 
thinking is confined within himself, and the fact of his being 
thought is excluded from hiln, and is represented as occurring 
in another being. This indifference or independence with 
respect to us, to our thought, is the attestatiún of a ::,elf-sub- 
sistent, i.e., external, personal existence. It is true that re- 
ligion also nlakes the fact of God being thought into the self- 
thinking of God; but because this process goes forward behind 
its consciousne::;s, since God is immediately presupposeel as a 
self-existent personal being, the religious consciousness only 
embraces the indifference of the two facts. 
Even religion, however, does not abide by this indifference 
of the two siùes. God creates in order to reveal himself: 
creation is the revelation of God. But for stones, l)!ftnts, and 
animals there is no God, but only for man; so that Nature 
exists for the sake of nlan, and luan purely for the snke of 
God. God glorifies himself in man: nlan is the pride of God. 
God indeed knows himself even without man; but so long as 
there is no other me, so long is he only a possible, conceptional 
l)erson. First when a difference froln God, a non-divine is 
posited, is God conscious of himself; first when he knows 
what is not God, does he know what it is to he Goel, does he 
know the bliss of his Godhead. First in the positing of what 
is other than hinlself, of the world, does God posit himself as 
God. Is God almighty without creation? No! Onlnipotence 
first realizes, proves itself in creation. "
hat is a power, a 
property, 'which does not exhibit, attest itself? 'Vhat is a 
force which effects nothing? a light that does not illuluinate? 
a wisdoln which knows nothing, i,e., nothing real? Anù what 
is omnipotence, what all other divine attributes, if man ùoes 
not exist? }\'Ian is nothing without God; but also, G.od is 
nothing without man;* for only in man is God an object as 


* "God can as little do without us as we without hirn."-Predigten 
etzlicher Lehrer, &c. p. 16. See also on thi8 subject-Strauss, Cltristl. 
Glaubensl. B. i. 
 47, and the author's work entitled, P. Bayle, pp.l04, 107. 
L 3 



226 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


God; only in nlan is he God. The various qualities of Ulan 
first gi\Te difference, which is the ground of reality in God. 
The l)hysical qualities of nlan nUlke God fI physical being- 
God the Father, who is the creator of Nature, i. e., the per- 
sonified, nnthropoIl1orphized essence of Nature; * the intel- 
lectual qualities of man make God an intellectual being, the 
nloral, a nloral Leing. Human nlisery is the trÌlunph of divine 
conlpassion; sorrow for sin is the delight of the divine holiness. 
Life, fire, emotion comes into God only through Inml. 'Yith 
the stubborn sinner God is angry; over the repentant sinner 
he rejoices. 1\Ian is the revealed God: in Ulan the divine 
essence first realizes and unfolds itself. In the creation of 
Nature God goes out of himself, he has relation to what is 
other than hiInself, but in luan he returns into himself:-uHln 
knows God, because in him God finds and knows hilnself, feels 
hÏ1uself as God. 'Vhere there is no pressure, no want, there is 
no feeling ;-and feeling is alone real knowledge. 'Vho can 
know conlpassion 1vithout having felt the want of it? justice 
without the experience of injustice? happiness without the 
experience of distress? Thou nlust feel what a thing is; 
otherwise thou wilt never learn to know it. It is in llHtn that 
the divine properties first Leconle feelings, i.e., Ulan is the self- 
feeling of Goel ;-and the feeling of God is the real God; for the 
qualities of God are indeed only real qualities, realities, as felt 
by lllan,-as feelings. If the experience of human n1Ìsery 
.were outside of God, in a being personally separate frolll him, 
compassion also would not be in God, allcl we should hence 
have again the Being destitute of llualities, or more correctly 
the nothin!J, which God was Lefo1'e man or without man. For 
exalnple : - 'Yhether I be a good or sympathetic being-for 
that alone is good which gives, Ílllparts it
elf, bon llm est (,Oln- 
,}1M(;}ÚCl
ti1:l{}n sui,-is unknown to me before the opportunity 
presents itself of showing goodness to another being. Only 
in the act of iInparting do I experience the happiness of bene- 
ficence, the joy of generosity, of liberality. But is this joy 
apart from the joy of the recipient? No; I rejoice because 


* "This temporal, transitory life in this world (i. e. natural life) we have 
through God, who is the almighty Creator of heaven anù earth. But the 
eternal untransitorv life we have throuO'h the Pas:-;ion anù Re::1urrection of 
our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . . . J e:3u
 Christ a Lord over that life."- 
Luther (Th. xvi. s. t59). 



SPECULATIVE DOCTRIYE OF GOD. 


227 


he rejoices. I feel the wretchednes::; of another, I suffer with 
him; in alle\'iating his wretehedness I alleviate Iny own;- 
sJlllpathy with suffering is itself suffering. The joyful feeling 
of the giver is only the reflex, the self-consciousness of the joy 
in the receiver. Their joy is a common feeling, which accord- 
ingly makes itself visihle in the union of hands, of lips. So it 
is here. Just as the feeling of human misery is human, so 
the feeling of divine compfission is human. It is only fi sense 
of the poverty of finiteness that gi yes a sense of the bliss of 
infiniteness. \Vhpre the one is not, the other is not. The 
two fire inseparable,-inseparable the feeling of God fiS God, 
and the feeling of man fiS nlan, inseparable the knowledge of 
mfin find the self-knowledge of God. God is a Self only in 
the lnunan self,-only in the hunHln power of discriIllination, 
in the principle of difference that lies in the lnunan being. 
Thus compassion is only felt as a 1nc, fi :-,elf, a force, i. c., as 
something special, through its opposite. The opposite of God 
gives qualities to God, realizes hÏIn, makes him a Self. God 
is God, only through that which is not God. Herein we have 
also the mystery of .Jacob Bölulle's doctrine. It must only be 
borne in mind that Jacob Böhme, as a mystic and theologian, 
places outside of man the feelings in which the divine being 
first realizes himself, passes from nothing to something, to a 
qualitative being apart from the feelings of man (at least 
in imagination),-alld that he makes then1 objective ill the 
form of natural qualities, but in such a way that these 
qualities still only represent the Í1npressions made on his 
feelings. It will then be obvious that what the empirical 
religious consciou sness first posits with the real creation 
of Nature ànd of man, the lllystical consciousness p]aces 
before the creation in the prennuHlalle God, in doing which, 
however, it eloes away with the rea1ity of the creation. For 
if God has what is not-Goel, already in himself, he has no 
need first to create what is not-God in order to be God. The 
creation of the world is here fi pure superfluity, or J'ather an 
impossibility; this God for very reality does not come to 
reality;, he is already in hilllSelf the full and restless world. 
This is especially true of Schelling's doctrine of God, who 
though made up of innumerable" potences" is yet thoroughly 
impotent. Far more reasonable, therefore, is the enlpirical 
religious cunbciousnesb
 which makes God reveal, i. e., realize 
himself in real man, real nature, anù according to which man 



228 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


is created purely for the praise and glory of God. That is to 
say, nlan is the lllouth of God, which articulates and accentuates 
the divine qualities as lllunan feelings. God wills that he be 
honourml, praised. \Vhy? because the passion of man for 
God is the self-consciousness of God. N e,-ertheless, the re- 
ligious consciousness separates these two properly inseparable 
sides, since by nleans of the idea of personality it Inakes God 
and Inal1 independent existences. Now the Hegelian specula- 
tion identifies the two sides, but so as to leave the old contra- 
diction still at the foundation ;-it is therefore only the con- 
sistent carrying out, the cOInpletion of a religious truth. The 
learned mob ,vas so blind in its hatred towards Hegel as not 
to perceiye that his doctrine, at least in this relation, does not 
in fact contradict religion ;-that it contradicts it only in the 
same way as, in general, a developed, consequent process of 
thought contradicts an undeyeloped, incol1
equent, but never- 
theless radically identical conception. 
But if it is only in 11lunan feelings and wants that the divine 
"nothing" becomes sonletl1Ïng, obtains qualities, then the being 
of man is alone the real being of God,-Inan is the real God. 
And if in the consciousness which man has of God first arises 
the self-consciousness of God, then the hlunan consciousness is, 
per se, the divine consciousness. \Yhy then dost thou alienate 
man's consciousness from hÜn, and Inake it the self-conscious- 
ness of a being distinct froln Inan, of that which is an object 
to him? \Vhy clost thou vindicate existence to God, to man 
only the consciousness of that existence? G-od has his con- 
sciousness in Inan, and man his being in Goel? l\Ian's 
knowledge of God is God's know ledge of hinlself? \Vhat a 
divorcing and contradiction! The true statelnent is this: man's 
knowledge of God is nlan's knowledge of hÍ111self, of his own 
nature. Only the unity of being and consciousness is truth. 
\Vhere the consciousness of God is, there is the being of God, 
-in man, therefore; in the being of God it is only thy own 
being which is an object to thee, and what pre
ents itbelf 
ùefore thy consciousness is simply what lies behind it. 
If the divine qualities are luunan, the luunan qualities are 
divine. 
Onlywhen we abandon a philosophy of religion, or a theology, 
which is dÜ;tinct froln psychology find anthropology, and 1'eco- 
gnise anthropology as itself theology, do we attain to a true, 
self-satisfying identity of the divine and human being, the 



SPECULATIVE DOCTRINE OF GOD. 


2
9 


identity of the human being with itself. In every theory of the 
identity of the divine and hunlan which is not true identity, 
unity of the human nature with itself, there still lies at the 
foundatipn a division, a separation into two, since the identity 
i
 immediately abolished, or rather is supposed to be abolished. 
Every theory of this kind is in contradiction with itself and 
with the understancling,-is a half measure-a thing of tbe 
Ünagination-a perversion, a distortion; which, however, the 
more pervertecl and false it is, all the more appears to be pro- 
found. 


. 



230 


THE ESSE
CE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


CHAPTER XXI\r. 


THE CONTRADICTIO:Y IN THE TRI:YITY. 


RELIGION gives reality or objectivity not only to the hunlan or 
divine nature in general as a personal being; it further gives 
l'eality to the fundaIllental detel'lninations or fundanlental dis- 
tinctions of that nature as persons. The Trinity is therefore 
originally nothing else than the sum of the essential fund a- 
lnental distinctions which nlan perceive:::; in the human nature. 
According as the Illode of conceiving this nature varies, so 
also the fundaIllental detenl1inations on which the Trinity is 
founùed vary. But these distinctions, perceived in one and the 
same hunlan nature, are hypostasized as substances, as diyine 
persons. And herein, nnnlely, that these different detern1Ïna- 
tions are in God hypostases, subjects, is supposed to lie the 
distinction between these detern1Ïnations as they are in God, 
and as they exist in man,-in accordance with the law already 
enunciated, that only in the idea of persollality does the human 
pen;onality transfer and nlake objectiye its own qualities. But 
the per
onality exists only in the imagination; tbe fund a- 
nlental detenninations are therefore only for the imagination 
l1ypo:::;tases, per
ons; for reason, for thought, they are mere 
relations or detenninations. The idea of the Trinity contains 
in itself the contradiction of polytheism and mono"theisln, of 
Ï1nagination and reason, of fiction and reality. Imagina- 
tion gives the Trinity, reason the Unity of the per
ons. Ac- 
cording to reason, the things distinguished are only distinc- 
tions; according to imagination, the distinctions are things 
dit;tinguished, which therefore do Rway ,,,iih the unity of the 
divine being. To the reason, the divine persons are phantoms, 
to the ÏIllagillation realities. The idea of the Trinity deIllands 
that Ilian should think the opposite of what he imagines, and 
imagine the oppo
ite of what he thinks,-that he bhould think 
phantoms realities. * 


* It is curious to observe how the 8peculative religious philo
ophy 
undertakes the defence of the Trinity against the godless understanding, 



THE CONTRADICTION IN THE TRIXITY. 231 


There are three Persons, but they are not essentially distin- 
guished. Tres personæ, but lOUt, essentia. So far the concep- 
tion is a natural one. 'Ve can conceiye three and even more 
persons, identical in essence. Thus we men are distinguished 
fi'Oln one another by personal differences, but in the main, in 
essence, in humanity, we are one. And this indentification is 
made not only by the speculative understanding, but even by 
feeling. A given individual is a nHln as WE' are; iH( ncfll'lll, 
sat is ; in this feeling all distinctions vanish,-whether he be 
rich or poor, clever or stupid, culpable or innocent. The feel- 
ing of compassion, sympathy, is therefore a substantial, essen- 
tial, sl)eculative feeling. But the three or Inore hUllUlll persons 
exist apart froln each other, have a separate existence, even 
when they verify and confirnl the unity of their nature 
by fervent loye. They together constitute, through love, a 
single Inoral personality, but each has a physical existence for 
himself. Though they Inay be reciprocally absorbed in each 
other, may be unable to dispense with each other, they have yet 
always a formally independent existence. Independent exist- 
ence, existence apart froln others, is the essential character- 
istic of a person, of a substance. It is otherwise in God, 
and necessarily so; for while his personality is the same 
as that of man, it is held to be the same with a difference, on 
the ground. simply uf this postulate: there 111llst be a difference. 
The three Persons in God have no existence out of each other; 
else there would meet u
 in the heaven of Christian dognlatics, 
not indeed Inany gods, as in OlYlnpus, hut at least three divine 
Persons in an individual form, three Gods. The gods of Olym- 
pus were real persons, for they existed apart froln each other, 
they had the criterion of real personality in their individuality, 
though they were one in essence, in divinity; they had different 
personal attributes, but were each singly a god, alike in divinity, 
different as existing subjects or persons; they were genuine 


and yet, by doing away with the personal substances, and eXplaining the 
relation of :Father and Son as merely au inadequate image borrowed from 
organic liff', robs the Trinity of it
 very heart and soul. Truly, if the cab. - 
baliRtic artifices which the speculative religious philosophy applies in the 
<;ervice of the absolute religion were admissible in favour of finite religions, 
it would not be difficult to squeeze the Pandora's box of Christian dogmatics 
out of the horns of the Egyptian Apis. Nothing further would be needed 
for this purpose than the ominous distinction of the understanding from the 
speculative reason,-a distinction which is adapted to the justification of 
every absurdity. 



232 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


divine personalities. The three Persons of the Christian God- 
head, on the contrary, are only inlaginary, pretended l)ersons, 
assureùly different froln real persons, just because they are only 
phantasnls, shaclo,vs of personalities, while, notwithstanding, 
they are assunled to be real persons. The essential character- 
istic of personal reality, the polytheistic elelnent, is excluded, 
denied as non-divine. But by this negation their personality 
beeolnes a n1ere l)hantasnl. Only in the truth of the plural lies 
the truth of the Persons. The three persons of the ChriRtian 
Godhead are not tres Dii, three Goels ;-at least they are not 
meant to be such ;-but unus Deus, 011e God. The three Per- 
sons end, not, as might have been expected, in a plural, but in 
a singular; they are not only Un1l7n-the gods of Olynlpus are 
that-but Unus. Unity has here the significance not of e
sence 
only, but also of existence; unity is the existential form of 
God. Three are one: the plural is a singular. God is a per- 
sona1 being consisting of three persons. 
 
The three persons are thus only phantolns in the eyes of 
reason, for the conditions or modes under which alone their 
personality could be realized, are done away with by the com- 
mand of 111onotheisn1. The unity gives the lie to the person- 
ality; the self-subsistence of the persons is annihilated in the 
self-subsistence of the unity,-they are 111ere relations. The 
Son is not without the Father, the Father not without the Son; 
the Holy Spirit, who indeed spoils the symmetry, expresses 
nothing but the relation of the two to each other. But the 
divine persons are distinguished fron1 each other only by that 
which constitutes their relation to each other. The essential 
in the Father as a person is that he is a Father, of the Son that 
he is a Son. \Yhat the Father is over and above his father- 
hood, does not belong to his personality; therein he is God, 
and as God identical with the Son as God. Therefore it is 
said: God the Father, God the Son. and God the Holy Ghost: 
-God is in all three alike. "There is one person of the 
Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But 


* The unity has not the significance of genus, not of 'ltnum but of unus. 
(See Augustine and Petrus Lomb. 1. i. dist. 19, c. 7, 8, 9.) H Hi ergo tres, 
qui Ullum sunt propter illeffabilem conjunctionem deitatis qua incfiabiliter 
copulantur, unus Deus est." (Petrus L. 1. c. c. 6.) "How can reason 
bring itself into accord with this, or believe, that three is one and one is 
three P"-Luther (T. x. iv. p. 13). 



THE CONTRADICTION IN THE TRINITY. 233 


the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the I-:Ioly Ghost, 
is all one;" i. e., they are distinct per::;ons, but 'without distinc- 
tion of substance. The personality, therefore, arises purely 
in the relation of the Fatherhood; ,i. e., the idea of the person 
is here only a relative idea, the idea of a relatioll. 1\Ian as a 
father is dependent, he is essentially the correlative of the son; 
he is not a father without the son; bv fatherhood nlan reduces 
hÏlnself to a relative, depenrlellt, ililpersonal being. It is 
before all things necessary not to allow oneself to be deceived 
by these relations as they exist in reality, in men. The human 
father is, over and above his paternity, an independent per- 
sonal being; he has at least a fonnal existence for hiJllself
 an 
existence apart from his ::;on; he is not nlerely a father, with 
the exclusion of all the other predicates of a real personal 
Leing. Fatherhood is a relation which the bad nlan can Inake 
quite an external one, not touching his personal being. But 
in God the Father, there is no distinction between God the 
Father and God the Son ((s Goel; the abstract fatherhood alone 
constitutes his personality, his di::;tinction froin the Son, whose 
personality likewise is founded only on the abbtract sonship. 
But at the same time these relations, as has been said, are 
nlaintained to be not nlere relations, but real persons, beings, 
substances. Thus the truth of the plural, the truth of poly- 
theisill is again affinned, * and the truth of nlonotheisnl is denied. 
To require the reality of the persons is to require the unreality 
of the unity, and conversely, to require the reality of the unity 
is to require the unreality of the persons. Thus in the holy 
nlystery of the Trinity,-that is to say, so far as it is supposed 
to represent a truth distinct froln human nature,-all resolves 
itself into delusions, phantasms, contradictions, and sophiblllS. t 


* " Quia ergo pater Deus et filius Deus et spiritus s, Deus cur non dicuntur 
tres Dii? Ecce proposuit hanc propositionem (Augustinu
) attende quid 
respondeat . . . . . . Si autem dicerem: tres Deos, contradiceret scriptura 
dicens: Audi Israel: Deus tuus nnus est. Ecce ab
olutio quæstionis: quare 
potius dicamus tres personas quam tres Deos, quia scil. illud non contradicit 
scriptura,"-Pt'trus L, (1. i, dist. 23, c. 3). How much did even Catholicism 
repose upon Holy 'Vrit! 
t A truly masterly presentation of the overwhelming contradictions in 
which the mystery of the Trinity involves the genuine religious sentiment, 
is to be found in the work already cited-Theantllropos. Eine Reihe von 
Aphorismen-which expre
ses in the form of the religious sentiment what 
in the present work i
 expressed in the form of the reason; and which is 
therefore especially to be recommended to women. 



234 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


CHAPTER XX'V. 


THE CONTRADICTION IN THE SACRA
IENTS. 


As the objective essence of religion, the iùea of God, resolves 
itself into n1e1'e contradictions, so also, on grounds easily un- 
derstood, does its ::;ubjective essence. 
The subjective ele111('nts of religion are on the one hand 
Faith anel Love; on the other hand, so far as it presents itself 
externally in a cultus, the sacran1ents of Baptis1ll and the 
Lord's Bupper. The sacra1nent of Faith is Baptis1n, the 
sacnunent of Love is the Lord's Supper. In strictness there 
are only two SaCl"ftlllents, as there are two subjective elements 
in religion, Faith anù Love: for Hope is only faith in relatiun 
to the future; so that there is the same logical Ünp1'ol)riety 
in making it a distinct mental act as in making the Holy 
G host a distinct being. 
The identity of the SaCra1llents with the specific eS
f'nce of 
religion as hitherto developed is at once Inade evident, apart 
from other relations, by the fact that they have for their basis 
natural nlaterials or things, to which, however, is attributed a 
significance and effect in contradiction with their nature. 
Thus the material of baptit;m is water, COl1l111on, natural 
water, just as the material of religion in general is common, 
natural humanity. :But as religion alienates our OW11 nature 
froill us, and represents it as not ours, so the water of baptism 
is regarded as quite other than comn1on water; for it l}as not 
a physical but a hyperphysical power and significance; it is 
the LavlIcl"ll'1n 'J'fgcncrlltz,ollis, it purifies Juan froin the stains of 
original sin, expels the inborn devil, and reconciles with God. 
Thus it is natural water only in appearance; in tJ'lltl
 it is 
supernatural. In other worùs: the baptismal water has super- 
natur
l effects (and that which operates supernaturally is 
itself supernatural) only in idea, only in the ÜnaginatÍon. 
And yet the 111aterial of Baptisn1 is said to be natural water. 
Baptism has no validity and efficacy if it is not perfoflned 



THE CONTRADICTION IN THE SACRAMENTS. 235 


with water. Thus the natural quality of water has in itself 
value and significance, since the supernatural effect of baptislll 
is fi
sociated in a supernatural manner with water only, and 
not with any other nlaterial. God, by lneans of his omnipo- 
tence, could have united the SRllle effect to anything whatever. 
But he does not; he accolnmodates hÜn::-;elf to natural quali- 
ties; he chooses an element corresponding, analogous to his 
operation. Thus the natural is not altogether set aside; on 
the contrary, there always relllains a certain analogy with the 
natural, an appearance of naturalness. In like manner wine 
represents blood; bread, flesh. * Even n1Íracle is guided by 
analogies: water is changed into wine or blood, one species 
into another, with the retention of the indeterminate generic 
idea of liquidity. So it is here. 'Vater is the purest, clearest 
of liquids; in virtue of this its natural character it is the image 
of the spotless nature of the Divine Spirit. In short, wftter has 
It significance in itself, as water; it is on account of its natural 
quality that it is consecrated and selected as the vehicle of the 
Holy Sl)irit. So far there lies at the foundation of Baptism a 
beautiful, profound natural significance. But, at the very same 
time, this beautiful meaning is lORt again because water has a 
tran
cendental effect,-an effect which it has only through the 
supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, and not through itself. 
The natural quality becomes indifferent: he who makes wine 
out of water, can at will unite the effects of baptisInal water 
with any nlatel"Ìal whatsoever. 
Baptism cannot be understood without the idea of miracle. 
Baptislll is itself a miracle. The same power which works 
miracles, and by Ineans of theIn, as a proof of the divinity of 
Christ, turns Jews and Pagans into Ohristians,-this saille 
power has instituted baptislll and operates in it. Christianity 
began with nliracles, and it carries itself forward with miracles. 
If the miraculous power of baptism is denied, n1Íracles in ge- 
neral must be denied. The miracle-working water of baptism 
springs from the smne source as the water which at the wed- 
ding at Cana in Galilee was turned into wine. 
The faith which is produced by miracle is not dependent on 
me, on my Rpontaneity, on freedom of judgnlent and convic- 


=1= "Sacramentum ejus rei similitudillem gerit, cujus signum est."-Petru::. 
Lomb. (1. iv. dist. 1. c. 1). 



236 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


tion. A Iniracle which happens before my eyes I nlust believe, 
if I am not utterly obdurate. 
Iiracle con1pels me to believe 
in the divinity of the miracle-worker.* It is true that in sonle 
cases it pres
lpposes faith, namely, where it appears in the 
light of a reward; but with that exception it presupposes not 
so much actual faith as a believing disposition, willingness, 
submission, in opposition to an unbelieving, obdurate, and 
malignant disposition, like that of the Pharisees. The end of 

ir9,cle is to prove that the miracle-worker is really that which 
he a::;sunle::; to be. Faith based on n1Ïracle is the only 
thoroughly warranted, well-grounded, objective faith. Th
 
faith which is presuI)posec1 by minwle i
 only faith in n 
1\Iessiah, a Ohrist ill general; but the faith that this very man 
is Ohrist-and this is the nlain point-is first wrought by 
miracle as its consequence. This presupposition even of an 
indeterminate faith is, however, by no n1eans nece
sary. 1\lul- 
tituc1es first becan1e believers through miracles; thus miracle 
was the cause of their faith. If then miracles do not contra- 
dict Ohristianity,-and how should they contradict it ?-neither 
does the miraculous efficacy of baptism contradict it. On the 
contrary, if baptism is to have a Christian significaI?-ce it n1ust 
of necessity have a supernaturalistic one. Paul was converted 
by a sudden n1Ïrnculous appearance, when he ,yas still full of 
hatred to the Ohristians. Christianity took hÏ1n by violence. 
It is in vain to allege that with anothÈw than Paul this appear- 
ance would not have luul the same consequences, and that 
therefore the eff'ect of it HUlst still be attributed to Panl. .For 
if the same appearance had been vouchsafed to others, they 
would assuredly have becolne ns thoroughly Ohristian as Panl. 
Is not divine grace omnipotent? The unbelif'f and nOll-con- 
vertibility of the Pharisees is no counter-arglnnent; for froln 
them grace was expressly withdrawn. The 1\Iessiah III ust 
necessarily, al'con1ing to a divine decree, 1e betrayed, mal- 
treated and crucified. }'or this purpose there Inust he inJivi- 
duals who should lllaltreat and crucify hÜn: and hence it WaS 
a prior necessity that the diyine grace should he withdrawn 
from those individuals. It wab nut indeed totally withdrawn 


::)I: In relation to the miracle-worker faith (confidence in God's aid) is 
C'crtainly the causa f[/ficiens of the miracle. (See :l\Iatt, xvii. 20; Acts, vi. 8.) 
But in relation to the spectators of the miracle-and it is they who are in 
question here-miracle is the causa efficicJls of faith. 



THE CONTRADICTION IN THE SACRAMENTS. 237 


from them, but this was only in order to aggravate their guilt, 
and by no means .with the éarne
t will to convert thenl. How 
woul<.l it be possihle to resist the will of God, supposing of 
course that it was his real will, not a mere velleity? l)aul 
hÏ1nself represents his conversion as a. work of divine grace 
thoroughly unnleritell on his part;* and quite correetly. Not 
to resist divine grace, i. e., to accept divine grace, to allow it tû 
work upon one, is already something good, and consequen tly is 
an effect of the Holy S})irit. K othing is 1110re })erverse than the 
attenlpt to reconcile. miracle with freedom of inquiry anù 
thought, or grace with freedolll of will. In re]igion the nature 
of man is regarded as sepm'ate from lnan. The activity, the 
grace of God is the projected spontaneity of nHlll, Free 'ViII 
made objective.t . 
It is the most flagrant inconsequence to adduce the expe- 
rience that men are not sanctified, not converted by baptism, 
as an argument against its n1Ïraculouð efficaey, as is done by 
rationalistic orthodox theologians;:1: for all kinds of miracles, 
the objective power of prayer, ond in general all the superna- 
tural truths of religion, ah;o contradict experiénce. He who 
appeals to experience renounces faith. \Yhere experience ið a 
datum, there religious faith anù feeling have already vanishpd. 
The unbeliever denies the objective efficacy of prayer only 
because it contradicts experience; the atheist goes yet farther, 
-he denies even the existence of God, because he does not find 
it in experience. Inwarù experience creates no difficulty to 
him; for what thou experiencest in thyself of anothe:r; existence, 
proves only that there is sonlething in thee which thou thyself 
art not, which works upon thee independently of thy personal 


:if: "Here we see a miracle surpassing all miracles, that Christ should 
have so men
iflllly converted his greatest enem.r:"-Luther (T. xvi, p. 5ßO). 
t Hence it is greatly to the honour of Luther's understanding and sense 
of truth that, pa1'ticularly when writing against Erasmus, he unconditionally 
denied the free will of man as opposed to divine grace. " The name Free 
'ViII," Rays Luther, quite correctly from the sÜmd-point of religion, " is a 
divine title and name, which none ought to bear but the Divine l\fajest)r 
alone." (T. xix. p. 28.) 
! Experience indeed extorted even from the old theologians, whose faith 
was an uncompromising- one, the admi
sion that the effects of baptism are, at 
l
ast in this life, vpry limited. " Baptismus non aufert omnes pænalitates 
hujus vitæ,"-:i\Iezger. Theol. Schu1. T, iv. p. 251. See al:;o Petrus L. 1. iv. 
ùist. 4, c. Ii; 1. ii. dist. 32, c. 1. 



238 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


will and consciousness, without thy knowing what this myste::- 
rious sOlnething is. But faith is stronger than experience. 
The facts which contradict faith do not disturb it; it i8 happy 
in itself; it has eyes only for itself, to all else it is blind. 
It is true that religion, even on the stand-point of its mystical 
materialisnl, always requires the co-operation of subjectivity, 
and therefore requires it in the sacnunents; but herein i
 exhi- 
Lited its contradiction with itself. And this contradiction is 
particularly glaring in the sacralnent of the Lorù's Supper; for 
haptisnl is given to infal1t8,-though even ill theIn, as a condi- 
tion of its efficacy, the co-operation of subjectivity is insisted 
on, but, singularly enough, is 
upplied in the faith of other
, 
in the faith of .the parents, or of their representatives, or of 
the church in general.* 
The object in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper is the 
body of Christ,-a real body; but the necessary predicates of 
reality are wanting to it. Here we bave again, in an example 
presented to the senses, what we have found in the nature of 
religion in geperal. The object or subject in the religious 
syntax is always a real hunUln or natural subject or predicate; 
but the closer definition, the essential predicate of this predicate 
is denied. The suhject is sensuous, but the predicate is not 
sensuous, i, e., is contradictory to the suhject, I distinguish a 
real body from an inlaginary one only by this, that the former 
produces eorporeal effects, involuntary effects, upon me. If 
therefore the bread be tbe real body of God, the partaking 
of it nUlst produce in Iile i1nnlediate, involuntarily sanctifying 
effects; I need to make no special preparation, to bring wi th me 
no holy disposition. If I eat an apple, the apple of itself gives 
rise to the ta
te of apple. At the utmost I need nothing Inore 
than a healthy stomach to pel'ceive that the apple is an opl)le. 
The Catholics require a state of f
tsting as a condition of par- 
taking the Lord's Supper. This i::, enough. I take hold of the 
body with lilY lips, T crush it with nlY teeth, by my æsophagus 
it is carried into my stomach; I assimilate it corporeally, not 


:if: Even in the absurd fiction of the Lutherans, that "infants believe in 
baptism," the action of subjectivity reduces it
eU. to the faith of others, 
ince 
the faith of infants is "wrought by God th1
oug'h the intercession of the 
god-parents and their bringing up of the children in the faith of the 
Christian Church."-Luther (T. xiii. pp, 360, 3ül). "Thus the faith of 
another helps me to obtain a faith of 11l.Y own."-Ib. (T. xiv. p. 347a). 



THE CONTRADICTION IN THE SACRAMENTS. 239 


spiritually.* 'Yhy are its effects not held to be cOl1)oreal? \Yhy 
should 110t this body, which is a corporeal, but at the SHIne 
time heavenly, supenuttural substance, abo bring forth in me 
corporeal and yet at the same tÜne holy, supernatural effects? 
If it is nlY disl)osition, ]l1Y faith, which alone makes the divine 
body a means of sanctification to me, which transubstantiates 
the .dry Lread into pneunlatic animal substance, why do I still 
need an external object? It is I 111yself who give rise to the 
effect of the body on me, and therefore to the reality of the body; 
1 am acted on by Illyself. \Vhel'e is the objective truth anù 
power? He who partakes the Lord's t;upper unworthily has 
nothing further than the physical enjoynlent of bread and wine. 
He who brings nothing, takes nothing away. The specific 
difference of this bread ii'onl conUl1on natural bread rests there- 
fore only on the difference between the state of mind at the 
table of" the Lord, and the state of n1Ïnd at any other tahle. 
" He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drillketh 
dml1nation to hinlself, not discerning the Lord's body."t But 
this nlental state itself is dependent only on the significance 
.which I give to this bread. If it has for ]ne the significance not 
of bread, but of the body of Ohrist, then it has not the eftect of 
conlnlon bread. In the significance attached to it lies its effect. 
I do not eat to satisfy hunger; hence 1 COnSUll1e only a sllJall 
quantity. Thus to go no further than the quantity taken, 
which in every other act of taking food I)lays an essential part, 
the significance of common bread is externally set aside. 
But this supernatural significance exists only in the ÍJnagina- 
tion; to the senses, the wine renulÍns wine, the bread, bread. 
The Schoolmen therefore had recourse to the precious distinc- 
tion of substance and accidents. All the accidents which con- 


* "This," says Luther, "is hl summa our opinion, that in and with the 
bread, the body of Christ is tI'ulyeaten; thus, that all which the bread 
undergoes and effects, the body of Christ undergoes and effects; that it is 
divide.d, eaten and chewed with the teeth propter unionem sacramentalem." 
(Plank's Geseh. del' Entst. des protest. Lehrbeg, B. viii. s. 369.) Elsewhere, 
it is true, Luther denie... that the body of Christ, although it is partaken of 
corporeally, "is chewed and digested like a piece of bee!:" (T. xix. p. 429,) 
No wonder; for that which is partaken of, is an object without objectivity, a 
body without corporeality, fìe
.;}l without the qualities of flesh; "spiritual 
fle
h," as Luther says, i,e" imaginary fle
h. Be it observed fluther, that the 
I)rotestants also take the Lord's Supper fasting, but this is merely a custom 
with them, not a law. (See Luther, T. xviii. p, 200,201.) 
t 1 Cor. xi. 29. 



2"*0 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIAKITY. 


stitute the nature of wine and bread are still there; only that 
which is nlade up by these aeciùents, the 
ubject, the substance, 
is wanting, is changed into flesh and blood. But all the pro- 
perties together, whose combination furnl::; this unity, are the 
substance itself. 'Vhat are wine and bread if I take from th8111 
the properties whieh nlake them what they are? Nothing. 
Flesh and blood haxe therefore no objective existence; other- 
wise they must be an object to the unbelieving senses. On 
the contrary: the only valid witnesses of an objective existence 
-taste, snlell, touch, sight-testify unanÌInously to the reality 
of the wine ana bread, and nothing else. The wine and bread 
are in reality natural, but in Ì1nagillation divine substances. 
Faith is the power of the imagination, which makes the real 
unreal, and the unreal real: in direct contradiction with the 
truth of the senses, with the truth of reason. Faith denies 
what objective reason affirms, and affinlls what it denies.* The 
mystery of the Lord's Supper is the nlystery of faith :t- hence 
the partaking of it is the highest, the most rapturous, blissful 
act of the believing soul. The negation of objective truth 
which is not gratifying to feeling, the truth of reality, of the 
objective world and reason,-a negation whieh constitutes the 
essence of faith,-reaches its highest point in the Lord's Supper; 
for faith here denies an imlnediately present, evident, indubitable 
object, nlaintaining that it is not what the reason and senses 
declare it to be, that it is only in appearance bread, but in 
reality flesh. The position of the Schoolmen, that according 
to the accidents it is bread, and according to the substance 


:if: "Videtur ellim species vini et. panis, et substantia panis et VIllI non 
creditnr. Creditur auteJn substantia corporis et sanguinis Christi et tamen 
species non cernitur."-Bernardus (ed. Bas. 1552, pp. 189-191), 
t It is so in another relation not developed here, but which may be men- 
tioned in a note: nalnely, the following. In religion, in faith, man is an 
object to himself as the object, i. e., the end or determining moti\Te, of God. 
1\lan is occupied \vith himself in and through God. God is the means of 
human existence and happiness. This religious truth, embodied in a cultus, 
in a sensuous form, is the Lord's Supper. In this sacrament man feeds upon 
God- the Creator of heaven and earth-as on material food; by the act 
of patiug and drinking he declares God to be a mpre means of life to man. 
Here man is virtually supposed to be the God of God: hence the Lord's 
Supper is the highest 8elf-enjoyment of human subjectivity. Even the 
Protestant-not indeed in words, but in truth-transforms God into an ex- 
ternal thing, 8iuee he subject8 Him to him8elf as an object of seusational 
enjoyment. 



THE CONTRADICTION IN THE SACRAMENTS. 241 


flesh, is merely the abstract, explanatory, intellectual expression 
of what faith accepts and declares, and hils therefore no other 
meaning than this: to the senses or to conlnlon perception it is 
bread, but in truth, flesh. \Vhere therefore the imaginative 
tendency of faith has assunled sueh po'wer over the senses and 
reason as to deny the nlost evident sensible truths, it is no 
wonder if believers can raise themselves to such a degree of 
exaltation as actually to see blood instead of wine. Such ex- 
amples Cntholici
)n has to show". Ijttle is wanting in order to 
perceive externally what faith and imagination hold to be real. 
So long as f(lith in the lnystery of the Lord's Supper as 
a holy, nay the holiest, highest truth, governed nlan, so long 
was his governing principle the imagination. All criteria of 
reality and unreality, of unreason and reason, had disappeared: 
anything whatever that could be imagined passed for real pos- 
sibility. Religion hallowed every contradiction of reason, of 
the nature of things. Do not ridicule the absurd questions of 
the Schoohnen ! They were necessary consequences of faith. 
That which is only a matter of feeling had to be made a matter 
of reason, that which contradicts the understanding had to be 
Iuade not to contradict it. This was the fundamental contra r 
diction of scholasticism, whence all other contraùictions followed 
of course. 
And it is of no particular importance whether I believe the 
Protestant or the Catholic doctrine of the Loril"s SUIJper. The 
sole distinction is, that in Protestant!Sln it is only on the 
tongue, in the act of IJartaking, that flesh an(l bloo(l are unite(l 
in a thoroughly miraculous manner with bread and wine;
 
while in Catholicisnl, it is before the act of partaking, by the 
power of the priest,-who however here acts only in the name 
of the Almighty,-that bread and wine are really transl1nÜed 
into flesh and blood. The Protestant pruùently avoids a 
definite explanation; he does not lay himself open like the 
pious, uncritical si111plicity of Catholicism, whose God, as an 
external object, can be devoured by a mouse; he shuts up his 


:if: "N ostrates, præsentiam realem consecrationis effectum esse, adfirmant; 
idque ita, ut turn se exserat, cum usus legitimus accedit. Nee est quod 
regeras, Christum hæc verba: hoc est corpus meum, protulisse, antequam' 
discipuli ejus comeclerent, adeoque panem jam ante usum corpus Christi 
fuisse."-Buddeus (1. c. 1. v. c. 1, 

 13, 17). See, on the other hand, 
Concil. Trident. Sessio 13, cc. 3, 8, Can. 4. 
l\I 



242 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


God within himself, where he can no more be torn from him, 
and thus secures him as well from the power of accident as 
from that of ridicule; yet, notwithstanding this, he just as 
much as the Catholic consumes real flesh and blood in the 
bread and wine. Slight indeed was the difference at first 
between Protestants and Catholics in the doctrine of the Lord's 
Supper! Thus at Anspach there arose a controversy on the 
question-" whether the body of Christ enters the stomach, 
and is digested like other food ?"* 
But although the imaginative activity of faith makes the 
objective existence the mere appearance, and the emotional, 
imaginary existence the truth and reality; still, in itself or in 
truth, that which is really objective is only the natural ele- 
ments. Even the Host in the pyx of the Catholic priest is in 
itself only to faith a divine body,-this external thing, into 
which he transubstantiates the divine being is only a thing of 
faith; for even here the body is not visible, tangible, tasteable 
as a body. That is: the bread is only in its significance 
flesh. It is true that to faith this significance hus the sense 
of actual existence ;-as, in general, in the ecstasy of fervid 
feeling that which signifies becomes the thing signified;-it is 
held not to signify, but to be flesh. But this state of being 
flesh is not that of real flesh; it is a state of being which is 
only believed in, imagined, i. e., it has only the value, the 
quality, of a significance, a truth conveyed in a symbol.t 
\ 
thing which has a special significance for me, is another thing 
in my imagination than in reality. The thing signifying is 
not itself that which is signified. 'Yhat it is, is evident to the 
senses; what it signifies, is only in my feelings, conception, 
imagination,-is only for me, not for others, is not objectively 
present. So here. vVhen therefore Zwinglius said that the 
Lord's Supper has only a subjective significance, he said the same 
thing as his opponents; only he disturbed the illusion of the 
religious imagination; for that which "is" in the Lord"s 


:1= Apologie l\Ielancthon. Strobel. Nürnb. 1783, p. 127. 
t "The fanatics however believe that it is mere bread and wine, and it is 
as
uredly so as they believe; they have it so, and eat mere bread and wine." 
-Luther (T. xix. p. 432). That is to say, if thou believest, representest to 
thyself, conceivest, that the bread is not bread, but the body of Christ, it is 
not bread; but if thou dost not believe so, it is not so. 'Vhat it is in thy 
belief that it actually is. 



THE CONTRADICTION IN THE SACRAMENTS. 243 


Supper, is only an illusion of the imagination, but with the 
further illusion that it is not fin illusion. Zwinglius only ex- 
pressed siml)ly, nakedly, prosaically, rationalistically, and there- 
fore offensively, what the others declaredmystically,indirectly,- 
inasmuch as they confessed* that the effect of the Lord's SUI)per 
depends only on a worthy disposition or on faith; i, e., that the 
bread find wine are the flesh and blood of the Lord, are the 
Lord himself, only for him for whom they have the super- 
natural significance of the divine body, for on this alone depends 
the worthy disposition, the religious emotion. t 
But if the Lord's Supper effects nothing, consequently is 
nothing,-for only that which produces effects, is,-without a 
certain state of mind, without faith, then in faith alone lies its 
reality; the entire event goes forward in the feelings alone. 
If the idea that I here receive the real body of the Saviour nets 
on the religious feelings, this idea itself arises from the 
feelings; it pruduces devout sentin1ents, because it is itself a 
devout idea. Thus here also the religious subject is acted on 
by himself as if by another being, through the conception of 
an imaginary object. Therefore the process of the Lord's 
Supper can quite well, even without the intermediation of bread 
and wine, without any church ceremony, be accomplished in 
the imagination. There are innumerable devout poems, the 
sole theme of which is the blood of Christ. In these we have 
a genuinely poetical celebration of the Lord's Supper. In the 
lively representation of the suftering, bleeding Saviour, the soul 
identifies itself with him; here the saint in poetic exaltation 
drinks the pure blood, unmixed with any contratlictory, material 
elements; here there is no disturbing object between the idea 
of the blood and the blood itself. 
But though the Lord's Supper, or a sacrament in general, is 
nothing without a certain state of mind, without faith, never- 
theless religion presents the sacrament at the same time as 
something in itself real, external, distinct from the human 


* Even the Catholics also. "Hujus sacramenti effectus, quem in anima 
operatur digne sumentis, est adunatio hominis ad Christum."-Concil. 
FIorent. de S. Euchar. 
t "If the body of Christ is in the, bread and is eaten with faith, it 
strengthens the soul, in that the soul believes that it is the body of Christ 
which the mouth eats."-Luther (T. xix. p. 433; see also p. 205). "For 
what we believe that we receive, that we receive in truth."- lb. (T. xvii. 
p. 557). 


M2 



2-t4 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


being, so that in the religious consciousness the true thing, 
which is faith, is made only a collateral thing, a éondition, and 
the imaginary thing becolnes the principal thing. And the 
necessary, immanent consequences and effects of this religious 
materialisln, of this subordination of the Inunan to the supposed 
divine, of the subjective to the supposed objective, of truth to 
imagination, of morality to religion,-the necessary conse- 
quences are superstition and immorality: superstition, because 
a thing has attributed to it an effect which does not lie in its 
nature, because a thing is held up as not being what it in truth 
is, because a mere conception IJass!3s for objective reality; im- 
morality, because necessarily, in feeling, the holiness of the 
action as such is separated from morality, the partaking of the 
sacrament, even apart fi'onl the state of mind, ueconles a holy 
and saving act. Such, at least, is the result in practice, which 
knows nothing of the sophistical distinctions of theology. In 
general: 'It'hererer religion places itself in contradiction 'lcith 
'reason, it places itself altjo in cunt'ìYldiction u'ith the 'ìJwrlll 
8ense. Only with the sense of truth coexists the sense of the 
right and gooù. Depravity of understanding is always de- 
pravity of heart. He who deludes and cheats his under- 
standing has not a veracious, honourable heart; sophistry 
corrupts the whole man. And the doctrine of the Lord's 
Supper is sophistry. 
The Truth of the disposition, or of faith as a requisite to 
communion, involves the Untruth of the boùily presence of 
God; and again the Truth of the objective existence of the 
divine body involves the Untruth of the disposition. 



THE CONTRADICTIO
 OF FAITH AND LOVE. 2
5 


CHAPTER XX'TI. 


THE CONTRADICTION OF FAITH A...
D LOVE. 


THE Sacraments are a sensible presentation of that conti-aelic- 
tion of idealisnl and lllaterialisl11, of subjectivisln and objecti- 
vism, which belongs to the inmost nature of religion. But the 
sacranlents are nothing without :Faith and Love. Hence the 
contradiction in the sacraments carries us back to the primary 
contradiction of Faith and Love. 
The essence of religion, its latent nature, is the identity of 
the divine being with the hunlan; but the form of religion, or 
its apparent, conscious nature, is the dist'Înction between tlJem. 
God is the human being; but he presents himself to the reli- 
gious consciousness as a distinct being. K ow, that which re- 
veals the basis, the hidden essence of religion, is Loye; that 
which constitutes its conscious fonn is Faith. Love identifies 
man with God and God with man, consequently it identitiés 
man with man; faith separates Goel from nIan, consequently it 
separates man from man, for God is nothing else than the 
idea of the species invested with a Inystical fOl'ln,-the separa- 
tion of God ii'om man is therefore the separation of man from 
man, the unloosing of the social bonet By faith religion 
places itself in contradiction with morality, with reason, with 
the unsophisticated sense of truth in lnan; by love, it opposes 
itself again to this contradiction. :Faith isolates God, it makes 
him a particular, distinct being: love universalizes; it nlakes 
God a COlIlnlon being, the love of whom is one with the love of 
man. Faith produces in man an inward disunion, a disunion 
,vith himself, and by consequence an outward disunion also; 
but love heals the wounds which are nlade by faith in the heart 
of man. Faith makes helief in its God a law: love is freedom, 
-it conùemns not even the atheist, because it is itself atheistic, 
itself denies, if not theoreticaHy, at least practically, the exist- 
ence of a particular, individual God, opposed to man. Love 
has God in itself: faith ha
 God out of itself; it estranges God 
from Ulan, it makes him an external object. 



246 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


Faith, being inherently external, proceeds even to the adop- 
tion of outward fact as its object, and becomes historical faith. 
It is therefore of the nature of faith that it can become a 
totally external confession; and that with mere faith, as such, 
superstitious, magical effects are associated. * The devils be- 
lieve that Gull is, without ceasing to be devils. Hence a dis- 
tinction has been made between faith in God, and belief that 
there is a God.t But even with this bare belief in the exist- 
ence of God, the assimilating power of loye is intermingled;- 
a power which by no means lies in the idea of faith as such, anel 
in so far as it relates to external things. 
The only distinctions or judgments which are inlmanent to 
faith, which spring out of itself, are the distinctions of right or 
genuine, and wrong or false faith; or in general, of belief and 
unbelief. Faith discrin1Ïnates thus: This is true, that is false. 
And it claims truth to itself alone. Faith has for its object a 
definite, specific truth, which is necessarily united with nega- 
tion. Faith is in its nature exclusive. One thing alone is 
truth, one alone is God, one alone has the 11lonopoly of being 
the Son of God; all else is nothing, error, delusion. Jehovah 
alone is the true God; all other gods are vain idols. 
.Faith has in its mind sonlething peculiar to itself; it rests 
on a peculiar revelation of God; it has not come to its posses- 
sions in an ordinary way, that way which stands open to all 
men alike. "\Vhat stands open to all is common, and for that 
reason cannot fonn a special object of faith. That God is the 
creator, all men could know from Nature; but what this God is 
in person, can be known only by sl)ecial grace, is the object of 
a special faith. And because he is only revealed in a peculiar 
manner, the object of this faith is himt;elf a peculiar being. 
The God of the Christians is indeed the God of the heathens, 
but with a wide difference :-just such a difference as there is 
between me as I am to a friend, and me as I am to a stranger, 
who only knows me at a distance. God as he is an object to 
the Christians, is quite another than as he is an object to the 
11eathens. The Christians know God personally, face to face. 
The heathens know only-and even this is too large an admis- 
sion-" what," and not" who," God is; for which reason they 


:>)I: Hence the mere name of Christ has miraculous powers. 
t " Gott gZauben und an Gott gZauben." 



THE ÇONTRADICTION OF FAITH AND LOVE. 247 


fell into idolatry. The identity of the heathens and Christians 
before God is therefore altogether vague; what the heathens 
have in common with the Christians-if indeed we consent to 
be so liberal as to admit Hnything in eOInmon between them- 
is not that which is specifically Christian, not that which con- 
stitutes faith. In whatsoever the Chri
tians are Christians, 
therein they are distinguished from the heathens;* and they 
are Christians in virtue of their special knowledge of God; 
thus their mark of distinction is God. Speciality is the salt 
,vhich first give
 a flavour to the common being. \Yhat a being 
is in special, is the being itself; he alone knows me, who knows 
me if
 specie. Thus the special God, God as he is an object 
to the Christians, the personal God, is alone God. And this 
God is unknown to heathens, and to unbelievers in general; he 
does not exist for them. He is, indeed, said to exist for the 
heathens; but mediately, on condition that they cease to be 
heathens, and beC0111e Christians. Faith makes nlan partial 
and narrow; it deprives him of the freedom and ability to esti- 
lllate duly what is different frOln himself. Faith is imprisoned 
within itself. It is true that the philosophical, or, in general, 
any scientific tlH'orist, also IÜnits hÜnself by a definite system. 
But theoretic limitation, however fettered, short-sighted and 
narrow-hearted it nlay be, has still a freer character than faith, 
because the domain of theory is in itself a fi'ee one, because here 
the ground uf decision is the nature of things, argument, reason. 
But faith refers the decision to conscience and interest, to the 
instinctive desire of happiness; for its object is a special, per- 
sonal Being, urging himself on recognition, and Inaking f3alva- 
tion dependent on that recognition. 
Faith gives man a peculiar sense of his own dignity and 
importance. The believer .finds himself distinguishecl above 
other men, exalted above the natural man; he knows himself 
to be a person of distinction, in the possession of peculiar pri- 
vileges; believers are aristocrats, unbelievers plebeians. God 
is this distinction and pre-eminence of believers above unbe- 
lievers, personified.t Because faith represents man's own 


:)(: "If I wish to be a Christian, I must believe and do what other people 
do not believe or do."-Luther (T. xvi. p. 569). 
t Celsus makps it a reproach to the Christians that they boast: " Est Deus 
et post ilIum nos." (Origenes adv. Cels. ed. Hæschelius. Aug. Vind. 1605, 
p. 182.) 



248 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


nature as that of another being, the believer does not con- 
template his dignity immedia.tely in himself, but in this sup- 
posed distinct persoIl. The consciousness of his own pre- 
eminence presents itself as a cOIlsciousness of this person; he 
has the sen
e of his own dignity in thi
 divine pen;onality.* 
As the servant feels hinlself honoured in the dignity of his 
master, nay, fancies himself greater than a free, independent 
DUtn of lower rank than his master, so it is with the believer. t 
He denies all merit in hiulself, merely that he may leave all 
nlerit to his Lord, because his own d.esire of honour is satisfied 
in the honour of his Lord. Faith is a.rrogant, but it is distin- 
guished froln natural arrogance in this, that it clothes its feel- 
ing of superiority, its pride, in the idea of another person, for 
whonl the believer is an object of peculiar favonr. This distinct 
person, however, is simply his own hidden self, his personified, 
contented desire of happiness: for he has no other qualities 
than these, that he is the benefactor, the Redeemer, the t;aviour, 
-qualities in which the believer has reference only to himself, 
to his own eternal salvation. In fact, we have here the charac- 
teristic principle of religion, that it changes that which is natu- 
rally active into the passive. The heathen elevates hÜnself, tbe 
Christian feels himself elevated. The Christian converts into 
a Inatter of feeling, of receptivity, what to t1le heathen is a mat- 
ter of spontaneity. The humility of the believer is an inverted 
arrogance,-an arrogance none the less because it has not the 
appearance, the external characteristics of arrogance. He feels 
hÜn
elf pre-eminent: this In.e-eminence, however, is not a re
ult 
of his activity, but a matter of grace; he has been nUlcIe pre- 
eminent; he can do nothing towards it himself. He does not 
luake hiInself the end of his own activity, but the end, the ob-. 
ject of God. 
Faith is essentially detennillate, specific. God according to 
the specific view taken of him by faith, is alone the true God. 
This .J esus, such as I conceive hiIn, is the Christ, the true, sole 


* "I am proud and e-x:ulting on account of my blessedness and the for- 
giveness of 111Y sins, but through what? Through the glory and pride 
of another, namely, the Lord Christ."-Luther (T. ii. p. 344). " He that 
glorieth let him glory in the LOl"d."-l Cor. i. 3l. 
t .A military otfieer who had been aqjutant of the Russian general 
l\lünnich said: "'Vhen I was his adjutant I felt myself greater than now 
that I COllllUalld." 



THE CONTRADICTIO
 OF FAITH AND LOVE. 2-i9 


prophet, the only begotten Son of God. And this particular 
conception thou must believe, if thou wouldst not forfeit thy 
salvation. Faith is imperative. It is therefore necessary-it 
lies in the nature of faith-that it be fixed as dognul. Dogrna 
only gives a fonllul<1 to what faith had already on its tongue or 
in its n1Índ. That when once a fundamental dogma is esta- 
blished, it gives ribe to Inore special questions, which llHIst also 
be thrown into a dogmatic lorIn, that hence there results a 
hurdenbonle multiplicity of dognlas,-this is certainly a fatal 
consequence, but does not do away ,,-ith the necessity that faith 
should fix itself in dognlas, in order that everyone mflY know 
definitely what he must believe and how he cfln win sah-ation. 
That 
vhich in the present day, even from the stand -point 
of believing Christianity, i
 rejected, is compassionated as 
an aberration, as a misinterpretation, or is even ridiculed, is 
purely a consequence of the iUlnost nature of faith. Faith 
is essentially illiberal, prejudiced; for it is concerned not only 
with individual salvation, but with the honour of God. ....-\nd 
just as we are solicitous as to whether we show due honour to 
a superior in rank, so it is with faith. The apostle Paul is 
absorbed in the glory, the honour, the merits of Christ. 
Dogrnatic, exclusive, scrupulous particularity, lies in the nature 
of faith. In food and other matters, indifferent to faith, it is 
certainly liberal; but by no means in relation to objects of 
faith. He who is not for Christ is against him; that which is 
not christian is antichri
tian. But what is christian? This 
n1ust be absolutely deternlined, this cannot be free. I f the 
articles of faith are set down in books which proceed from 
various authors, handed down in the fOrIll of incidental, 
mutually contradictory, occasional dicta,-then clognultie de- 
marcation and definition ure even an external necessity. 
Christianity owes its perpetuation to the dogmatic fornnllas òf 
the Church. 
It is only the believing unbelief of modern times which hides 
itself behind the Bible, alld opposes the biblieal dicta to dog. 
lllatic definitions, in orùer that it may set itself free fl'Oln the 
lin1Ít8 of dogma by arbitrary exegef'is. But faith has already 
disappeared, is become inditferent, when the determinate tenets 
of faith are felt as lirnitations. It is only religious inr1ifference 
under the appearance of religion that nlakes the Bible, ,,-hid. 
in its nature and origin is indefinite, a standard of faith, mlll 
under the pretext of believing only the essential, retains 
Mð 



250 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


nothing which deserves the nmne of faith ;-for example, sub- 
stituting for the distinctly characterized Son of God, held up 
"by the Church, the vague negative definition of a Sinless J\Ian, 
who can claim to be the Son of God in a sense applicable to no 
other being,-in a word, of a man, whom one may not tru
t 
oneself to call either a man or a God. But that it is merely 
indifference which makes a hiding-place for itself behind the 
Bible, is evident from the fact that even what stands in the 
Bible, if it contradicts the stand -point of the present day, is 
l'egarded as not obligatory, or is even denied; nay, actions 
which are eS8entially christian, which are the logici.tl conse- 
quences of faith, such as the separation of believers froln un- 
believers, are now designated as unchristian. 
The Church was perfectly justified in adjudging (hunnation 
to heretics and unbelievers,* for this condemnation is involved 
in the nature of faith. Faith at first appears to be only !n 
nnprejudiced separation of believers from unbelievers; but this 
separation is a highly critical distinction. The believer has 
God for hiIn, the unbeliever, against him ;-it is only as a pos- 
sible believer that the unbeliever has God not against him;- 
and therein precisely lies the ground of the requirement that 
he should leave the ranks of unbelief. But that which has God 
against it is worthless, rejected, reprobate; for that which has 
God against it is itself against God. To believe, is synony- 
mous with goodness; not to believe, with wickedness. }'aith, 
narrow and prejudiced, refers all unbelief to the n10ral disposi- 
tion. In its view the unbeliever is an enemy to Christ out of 
obduracy, out of wickedness. t Hence faith has fellowship with 
believers only; unbelievers it rejects. It is well-disposed 
towards believers, but ill-disposed towards unbelievers. lnfaith 
there lies a 1nalignant principle. 
It is owing to the egoism, the vanity, the self-complaeency 
of Christians, that they can see the motes in the faith of non- 
christian nations, but cannot perceive the bealn in their own. 
It is only in the mode in which faith embodies itself that 
Uhristians differ froln the followers of other religions. The 
distinction is founded only on clÜnate or on natural ten1pera- 


* To faith, so long as it has any vital heat, any character, the heretic is 
always on a level with the unbeliever, with the atheist. 
t Already in the New TeRtampnt the idea of disohedipllce is associated 
with unbelief. "The carùinal wickedlles
 is unbelief."-Luther (xiii. p. 647). 



THE CONTRADICTION OF FAITH AND LOVE. 25] 


mente A warlike or ardently sensuous people will naturally 
attest its distinctive religious character by deeds, by force of 
arnlS. But the nature of faith as such is everywhere the same. 
It is essential to faith to condemn, to anatheIl1atize. All 
blessings, all good it accumulates on itself, on its God, as the 
lover on his beloved; all curses, all hardship and evil it casts 
on unbelief. The believer is blessed, well-pleasing to God, a 
partaker of everlasting felicity; the unbeliever is accursed, re- 
jected of God and abjured by men: for what God rejects man 
must not receive, lnust not indulge ;-that ,vould be a criticism 
of the divine judgment. The Turk
 exterminate unbelievers 
with fire and sword, the Christians with the fin-nles of hell. But 
the fires of the other world blaze forth into this, to glare through 
the niglit of unbelief. -\.s the believer already here below 
anticipates the joys of heaven, so the flames of the abyss lnust 
be seen to flash here as a foretaste of the awaiting hell,-at 
least in the nloments when faith attains its highest enthusiasm. * 
It is true that Christianity ordains no persecution of heretics, 
still less conversion by force of arms. But so far as faith 
anathematizes, it necessarily generates hostile dispositions,- 
the dispositions out of which the persecution of heretics arises. 
To love the man who does not believe in Christ, is a sin against 
Christ, is to love the enemy of Christ. t That which God, 
which Christ does not love, nlan nlust not love; l}is love would 
be a contradiction of the divine will, consequently a sin. God, 
it is true, loves all men; but only when and because they are 
Christians, or at least mav be and desire to be such. To be a 
Christian is to be beloved"' by God; not to be a Christian is to 
be hated by God, an object of the divine anger.t The 
Christian must therefore love only Christians-others only 
as possible Christians; he must only love what faith hallows 
and blesses. Faith is the baptisnl of love. Love to man as 


* God himself by no means entirely reserves the punishment of blas- 
phemers, of unbelievers, of heretics, for the future; he often punishes them 
in this life also, "for the benefit of Christendom anù the strengthening of 
faith:" as, for example, the heretics Cerinthus anù Arius. See Luther 
(T. xiv. p. 13). 
t "Si quis spiritum Dei habet, illius versicu1i recordetur: Nonne qui 
oderunt te, Domine, odCl'am P" (Psal. cxxxix. 21.) Benlhardus, Epist. (lUg) 
ad nlagist. Y vonem Cardin. 
! "Qui Chri
tum negat, negatur a Christo."-Cyprian (Epst. E. 78, 
9 18. Edit. Gersdorf,). 



252 


THE ESSEXCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


man is only natural love. Christian love is supernatural, 
glorified, sanctified love; therefore it loves only what is 
Christian. The maxim, "Love your enemies/' has reference 
only to personal enen1ies, not to o/public enenÜes, the enen1Ìes 
of God, the enen1Ìes of faith, unbelievers. He who loves the 
men wholn Christ denies, doe::, not believe Christ, denies his 
Lord and God. Faith abolishes the natural ties of humanity; 
to universal, natural unity, it substitutes it particular unity. 
Let it not be objected to tlÜs, that it is said in the 1:3ible, 
" Judge not, that ye be not judged;" and that thus, as faith 
leaves to God the judgnlent, so it leaves to him the sentence of 
condemnation. This and other similar sayings have authority 
only as the private law of Christians, not as their public law; 
belong only to ethics, not to dognlatics. It is an indication 
of indifference to faith, to introduce such sayings into the 
region of dogma. The distinction between the unbeliever and 
the 1!1an is a fruit of nlodern philanthropy. To faith, the llian 
is merged in the believer; to it, the essential difference between 
man and the brute rests only cOn religious belief. Faith alone 
c01l1prehends in itself all virtues which can make man pleasing 
to God; and G-od is the absolute measure, his pleasure the 
highest law: the believer is thus alone the legitimate, normal 
man, Ulan as he ought to be, man as he is recognised by God. 
'Yherever we fin<l Ohristians making a distinction between the 
man and the believer, there the human mind has already 
severed itself from faith; there Jnan has value in himself, 
independently of faith. Hence faith is true, unfeigned, only 
where the specific difference of faith operates in all its severit
T. 
Ii the edge of this difference is blunted, faith itself naturally 
becomes indifferent, effete. Fflith is liberal only in things 
intrinsically indifferent. The liberalism of the apostle Paul 
presupposes the acceptance of the fundanlental articles of faith. 
\Vhere everything is made to clepenù on the fundamental 
articles of faith, thrre arises the distinction between essential 
and non-essential belief. In the sphere of the non-essential 
there is no law,-there you are free. But obviously it is only 
on condition of your leaving the rights of faith intact, that 
faith allows you freedoln. 
It is therefore an altogether false defence to say, that faith 
leaves judgment to God. It leayes to him only the moral 
judgment with respect to faith, only the judgll1ent a::; to it::; 



THE CONTRADICTION OF FAITH AND LOVE. 253 


moral character, as to whether the faith of Christians be feigned 
or genuine. So far as classes are concerned, faith knows 
already ,dlonl God will place on the right hand, and whom on 
the left; in relatìon to the pert;ons who compose the ('lasses 
faith is uncertain ;-but that believers are heirs of the Eternal 
Kingdom is beyond all doubt. Apart from this, however, the 
God who distinguishes between believers and unbelievers, the 
condel11ning and rewarding God, is nothing else than faith 
itself. 'Yhat God cOnden111S, faith cOnden111S, and 'rice 'cerslÎ. 
Faith is a consuming fire to its opposite.* This fire of faith 
regarLled objectively, is the anger of God, or what is the sanle 
thing, hell; for hell evidently has its founùation in the anger 
of God. But this hell lies in faith itself, in its sentence of 
dan1nation. The flanles of hell are only the flashings of the 
exterminating, vindictive glanee which faith C1ttits on un- 
believers. 
Thus faith is essentially a spirit of partisanship. He who 
is not for Christ is against hiIll, t Eaith knows only fi-iellds 
or enemies, it understands no neutralit)T; it is preoccupied 
only with itself. Faith is essentially intolerant; essentially, 
because with faith is always as:::;ociated the illusion that its 
cause is the cause of God, its honour his honour. The God 
of faith is nothing else than the objective nature of faith-faith 
become an object to itself. Hence in the religious cont;cious- 
ness also the cause of faith and the cause of God.are identified. 
God himself is interested: the interest of faith i:5 the nearest 
interest of God. " He who toucheth you," says the prophet 
Zachariah, "toucheth the apple of His eye."! That which 
wounds faith, wounds God, that which denies faith, denies 
God himself. 
Faith knows no other distinction than that between the 
service of God and the service of idols. Faith alone gives 


* Thus the apostle Paul cur
ed "Elymas the sorcerer" with blindness, 
because he with.-;tood the faith.-Acts xiii. 8-1l. 
t Historically considered, this saying, as wen as the others cited pp, 384, 
3R5, may be perfectly ju
tified. But the Bible is not to be regardf'd as 
an historical or temporal, but as an eternal book. 
t "Tenerrimam partem humani corporis nominavit, ut apertis
ime in- 
telligert'll1us, emn (Deum) tam panTa Sanctorum suorum contumelia. lædi, 
quam parvi verberis tactu humani visus acies læditur."-Salvianus, 1. 8. 
de Gubern. Dei. 



234 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


honour to God; unbelief withdraws from God that which is 
due to him. Unbelief is an injury to God, religious high 
treason. The heathens worship dmnons; their gods are devils. 
_ "I say that the things which the Gelltile
 sacrifice, they 
sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye 
should have fellowship with devils."* But the devil is the 
negation of God; he hates God, wills that there should be no 
God. Thus faith is blind to what there is of goodness and 
truth lying at the foundation of heathen worship; it sees in 
everything which does not do homage to its God, i. c., to itself, 
a worship of idol
, and in the worship of idols only the work 
of the devil. Faith must therefore, even in feeling, be only 
negative towards this negation of God: it is by inherent 
necessity intolerant towards its opposite, and in general towards 
whatever does not thoroughly accord with itself. Tolerance 
on its part would be intolerance towards God, who has the 
right to unconditional, undivided sovereignty. Nothing ought 
to subsist, nothing to exist, which does not acknowledge 
God, which does not acknowledge faith :-" That at the name 
of .J esus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and 
things on earth, and things under the earth; and that every 
tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory 
of the Father." t Therefore faith postulates a future, a world 
where faith has no longer an opposite, or where at least this 
opposite exists only in order to enhance the self-con1placency 
of triulnphant faith. Hell sweetens the joys of happy be- 
lievers. "The elect will COlne fortI) to behold the tonnents 
of the ungodly, and at this spectacle they will not be smitten 
,tith sorrow; on the contrary, while they see the unspeaka
le 
sufferings of the ungodly, they, intoxicated with joy, will thank 
God for their own salvation."! 
Faith is the opposite of love. Love recognises virtue even 


* 1 Cor. x. 20. 
t Phil. ii. 10, 11. "When the name of .Jesus Christ is heard, all that is 
unbelieving and ungodly in heaven or on earth shall be terrifi('d."-Luther 
(T. xvi. p. 322). "In morte pagani Christianus gloriatur, quia Christus 
glorificatur."-Divus Beruardus. Sermo exhort. ad l\Iilites Templi. 
. t Petrus L. 1. iv. di
t. 50, c. 4. But thi:o; passage is by no means a de- 
claration of Peter Lombard himself. He is fax too modest, timid and de- 
pendent on the authorities of Christianit
T, to have vcntured to advance 
such a tenet on his own account, No ! This position is a universal decla- 
ration, a characteristic expre:5sion of Christian, of believing love. The doc- 



THE COKTRADICTION OF FAITH AND LOVE. 255 


in sin, truth in error. It is only since the power of faith has 
been supplanted by the power of the natural unity of mankind, 
the power of reason, of lnullanity, that truth has been seen 
even in polytheism, in idolatry generally,-or at least that 
there has been any attempt to explain on positive grounds 
,vhat faith, in its bigotry, derives only from the devil. Hence 
love is reconcilable with reason alone, not with faith; for as 
reason, so also love is free, universal, in its nature; whereas 
faith is narrow-hearted, lil11Íted. Only where reason rules, does 
univenmllove rule; reason is itself nothing else than universal 
love. It was faith, not love, not reason, which invented Hell. 
To love, Hell is a horror; to reason, an absurdity. It would 
l)e a pitiable mistake to regard Hell as a mere aberration of 
faith, R false faith. Hell stands already in the Bible. Faith 
is everywhere like itself; at least positive religious faith, faith 
in the sense in whieh it is here taken, and must be taken 
unless we would mix with it the elements of reason, of culture, 
-a mixture which indeed renders the character of faith 
unrecognisable. 
Thus if faith does not contradict Christianity, neither do 
those dispositions which result fi'om faith, neither do the 
actions which result from those dispositions. Faith conden1ns, 
anathematizes; nIl the actions, all the dispositions, which con- 
traclict love, humanity, rea
on, accord with faith. 
.\ll the 
horrors of Christian re'ligious history, which our believers aver 
not to be due to Christianity, have truly arisen out of Chris- 
tianity, because they have arisen out of faith. This repudiation 
of them is indeed a necessary consequence of faith; for faith 
claims for itself only what is good, everything bad it casts on the 
shoulders of unbelief, or of misbelief, or of men in general. But 
thi::; very denial of faith that it is itself to blan1e for the evil in 
Christiànity, is a stril
ing proof that it is really the originator 
of that evil, because it is a proof of the narrowness, partiality, 


trine of some Fathers of the church, e.g. of Origen and Gregory of Nyssa, 
that the punishment of the damned would haye an end, sprung not out of 
Christian or Church doctrine, but out of Platonism. Hence the doctrine 
that the punishment of hell is finite, was rejected not only by the Catholic 
but also by the Prote
tant church. (Augsb. Confess. art. 17.) A precious 
example of the exclusive, misanthropical narrowness of Christim1 love, is the 
passage cited from Buddeus by Strauss (Christl. Glaubensl. B. ii. s. 547), 
according to which not infants in general, but tho::;e of Christians exclusively, 
would have a share in the divine grace and blessings if they died unbaptized. 



256 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIAKITY. 


and intolerance, which render it well-disposed only to itself, to 
its own adherents, but ill-disposed, unjust towards othert;. 
.According to faith, the good which Christians do, is not done 
by the man, but by the Christian, by faith; but the evil which 
Christians do, is not done by the Christian, but by the Inan. 
The evil which faith has wrought in Christendoln thus cor- 
responds to the nature of faith,-of faith as it is described in 
the oldest and most sacred records of Christianitv, of the 
Bible. " If any llHtn preach any other gospel unto
 you than 
that ye have received, let him be accursed,"* àvú()
J.1a 
(J'TW, 
Gal. i. 9. "Be )Te not unequally yoked together with 
unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with 
ullrighteousnebs? and what cOInlnUniol1 hath light with dark- 
Dess? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what 
part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agree- 
nlent hath the tC111ple of God with illols? for ye are the tenlple 
of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them and 
walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall he my 
people. 'Yherefore come out from among them, and be ye 
separate, saith the Lord, and toueh not the unelean thing; and 
I will receive you," 2 Cor. iv. 14-17. "'Vhen the Lord Jesus 
shall be revenlt'd from heaven with his Inighty angels, in 
flan1Ïng fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and 
that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall 
be punished with everlasting destruction fronl the presence of 
the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come 
to be glorifiecl in his saints, and adn1Ìred in all them that 
believe;' 2 Thess. i. 7-10. "\yithout faith it is impossible 
to please God," Heb. xi. 6. "God so loved the world, that he 
gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, 
should. not perish, but have everlasting life," John iii. 16. 
" Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the 
flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that 

T esus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is 
the spirit of antichrist," 1 John iv. 2, 3. "'Vho is a liar, ùut 
he that denieth that J esns is the Christ? He is antichrist 
that denieth the Father and the Son," 1 John ii. 22. " "\Vho- 
soever transgressetl), and ahiùeth not in the doctrine of Christ, 
hath not God: he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he 


'*' "Fugite, abhorrete hune doctorem." But why should I flee from 
him? because the anger, i. e., the curcie of God rest::; on his head. 



THE CONTRADICTION OF FAITH AND LOVE. 257 


hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto 
you, and bring not this doctriue, receive him not into your 
house, neither bid him God speed; for he that biddeth him 
God speed, is partaker of his evil deeds," 2 .J ohn ix. 11. 
Thus speaks the apostle of love. But the love which he 
celebrates is only the brotherly love of Christians. "God is 
the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe," 
1 Tim. iv. 10. ....\ fatal" specially!" "Let us do good unto 
all men, especially unto them who are of the hous
hold of 
faith," Gal. vi. 10. An equally pregnant "especially!" "A 
man that is a heretic, aftel' the first and second admonition 
rej ect; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, 
being condeulned of hinlself," * Titus iii. 10, 11. "He that 
believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that 
be1ieveth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God 
abideth on him," t .J ohn iii. 30. "And whosoever shall offend 
one of these little ones that belie\-e in me, it were better for him 
that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were 
cast into the sea,'. l\Inrk ix. -12; ::\Iatt. xviii. 0. "He that 
believeth and is baptized shall be sav
d; but he that believeth 
not shall be damned," 
Iark xvi. 1 ü. The distinction between 
faith as it is expressed in the Bible and faith as it has exhibited 
itself in later times, is only the distinction between the bud and 
the plant. In the bud I èannot so plainly see what is obvious 
in the matured plant; and yet the plant lay already in the bud. 
But that \yhi<'h is obvious, sophists of course will not con- 
descend to recognise; they confine themselves to the distinction 
between explicit and inlplicit existence,-wilfully overlooking 
their essential identity. 
Faith necessarily p
sses into hatred, hatred into persecution, 
where the power of faith meets with no contradiction, where it 
does not find itself in collision with a power foreign to faith, 


* There necessarily results from this a sentiment which e.g. Cyprian 
expresses: "Si vero ubique hæretici nihil aliud quam adversarii et anti christi 
nominantur, si vitandi et perversi et a semet ipsis damnati pronuntiantur; 
quale est ut videantur damnandi a. nobis non esse, quos constat apostolica 
contestatiolle a semet ipsis damnat08 esse," Epistol. 74, (Edit. cit.) 
t The passage Luke ix. 56, as the parallel of which is cited John iii. 17, 
receives its completion and rectification in the immediately following Y. 1R: 
"He that believeth in hiln is not condemned; but he that belicveth not is 
condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only 
begotten Son of God," 



258 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


the power of love, of lUllnanity, of the sense of justice. Faith 
left to itself necessarily exalts itself above the laws of natural 
morality. The doctrine of faith is the doctrine of duty 
toward
 God,-the highest duty of faith. By how much God 
is higher than man, 1JY so much higher are duties to God than 
duties towards man; and duties towards God necessarily come 
into collision with COlnmon human duties. God is not only 
believed in, conceived as the universal being, the );'ather of 
nIen, as Love :-such faith is the faith of love ;-he is also 
represented as a personal being, a being by himself. And so 
far as God is regarded as separate from lnan, as an indivi- 
dual being, so far are duties to God separated from duties 
to man :-faith is, in the religious sentiment, separated from 
morality, from love.*- Let it not be replied that faith in God 
is faith in love, in goodness itself; and that thus faith is itself 
an expression of a morally good disposition. In the idea 
of personality, ethical definitions vanish; they are only 
collat
ral things, 11lere accidents. The chi
f thing is the 
subject, the diyine Ego. Love to God himself, since it is love 
to a personal being, is not a moral but a personal love. Innu- 
merable devout hymns breathe nothing but love to the Lord; 
but in this love th
re appears no spark of an exalted moral 
idea or disposition. 
Faith is the highest to itself, because its object is a divine 
persünality. Hence it makes salvation dependent on itself, 
not on the fulfilm
nt of comnlon human duties. But that 
which has eternal salvation as its consequence, necessarily 
becomes in the mind of man the chief thing. As therefore 
inwardly morality is subordinate to faith, so it must also be 
outwardly, practically subordinate, nay sacrificed, to faith. It is 


* Faith, it is true, is not "without good works," nay, according to 
Luther's declaration, it is as impossible to separate faith from works as to 
separate heat and light from fire. N evertheleðs, and this is the main point, 
good works do not belong to the article of justification before God, 'i, e., men 
moe justified and" saved without works, through faith alone." ,Faith is 
thus expressly distinguished from good works; faith alone avails before 
God, not good works; faith alone is the cause of salvation, not virtue: 
thus faith alone has substantial significance, virtue only accidental; i, e., 
faith alone has religious significance, divine authority-and not morality. It 
is well known that many have gone so far as to maintain that good works 
are not necessary, but are even" injurious, obstructive to sahration." Quite 
correctly. . 



THE CONTRADICTION OF FAITH AND LOVE. 259 


inevitable that there should be actions in which faith exhibits 
itself in distinction from morality, or rather in contradiction 
with it ;-a
tions which are morally bad, but which according 
to faith are laudahle, because they have in view the advantage 
of faith. All salvation depends on faith: it follows that all 
again depends on the salvation of faith. If fai th is endangered, 
eternal salvation and the honour of God are endangered. 
Hence faith absolves from everything; for, strictly considered, 
it is the sole subjective good in man, as God is the sole good 
and positive being :-the highest commandment therefore is : 
Believe! * 
For the very reason that there is no natural, inherent con- 
nexion betwee
 faith and the moral disposition, that, on the 
contrary, it lies in the nature of faith that it is indifferent to 
moral duties,t that it sacrifices the love of nHtn to the honour 
of God,-for this r
ason it is required that faith should have 
good works as its consequence, that it should prove itself by 
love. Faith destitute of love, or indiffprent to love, contradicts 
the reason, the natural sense ûf right in man, moral feeling, 
on which love immediately urges itself as a law. Hence faith, 
in contradiction with its intrinsic character, has limits imposed 
on it by morality: a faith which effects nothing good, which 
does not attest itself by love, com
s to be held as not a true 
and living faith. But this limitation does not arise out of 
faith itself. It is the power of love, a power independent of 
faith, which gives laws to it; for moral character is here 


* "Causa fidei . . . . exorbitantem et irregularem prorsus favoremhabet 
et ab omni jure deviare, omnem captivare rationem, nec jlldiciis. laicorum 
ratione corrllpta utentium subjecta creditur. Etenim Causa fidei ad multa 
obligat, quæ alias sunt voluntaria, multa, imo infinita remittit, quæ alias 
præcepta; quæ alius valide gesta annullat, et contra quæ alias nulla et 
irrita, fiunt valida. . . . ex jure canonico."-J. H. Boehmeri (Jus Eccles. 
lib, v. tit. vii. 
 32. See also 
 4Lt et seq.). 
t "Placetta de Fide, ii. Ilne faut pas chercher dans Ia nature des choses 
mêmes Ia veritable cause de l'inseparabilité de Ia foi et de Ia pieté. II faut, 
8i je ne me trompe, Ia chercher uniquement dans Ia volonté de Dieu . . . . 
Bene facit et nobiscum sentit, cum iIIam conjunctionem (i. e., of sanctity 
or virtue with faith) a benifica Dei voluntate et dispositione repetit; 
nec id novum est ejus inventum, sed cum antiquioribus Thpologis 
nostris commune." -J. A, Ernesti. (Vindiciæ arbitrii divini, Opusc. 
theoI. p. 297.) "Si quis dixerit . . . . qui fidem sine charitate habet, 
Christi anum non esse, anathema sit."-Concil. Trid. (Sess. vi. de Justif. 
can. 28). 



260 


THE ESSENCE OF CHIUSTIANITY. 


Inade the criterion of the genuineness of faith, the truth of faith 
is made dependent on the truth of ethics :-a relation which 
however is subversive of faith. 
Faith does indeed nlake man happy; but thus much is cer- 
tain: it infuses into him no really moral dispositions. If it 
ameliorate man, if it have moral dispositions as its consequence, 
this proceeds solely from the inward conviction of the irrever- 
sible reality of morals :-a conviction independent of religious 
faith. I t is morality alone, and by no nleans faith, that cries 
out in the conscience of the believer: thy faith is nothing, if 
it does not nlake thee good. It is not to be denied that the 
assurance of eternal salvation, the forgiveness of sins, the sense 
of favour and release fro In all punishment, inclines nunl to do 
good. The man who has this confidenc'
 possesses all things; 
he is happy;'JJ- he becomes indifferent to the good things of this 
world; no env,', no ayarice, no ambition, no sensual desire, can 
enslave hÜn; 
 everything earthly vanishes in the prospect of 
heavenly grace and eternal bliss. But in him good works do 
not proceed froln es::sentially virtuous dispositions. It is not 
love, not the object of love, man, the basis of all mora1ity, which 
is the nlotive of his good works. No! he does good not for 
the sake of goodness itself, not for the sake of nlan, but for the 
sake of God ;-out of gratitude to God, who has done all for 
hilll, and for WhOlll therefore he nlust on his side do all that 
lies in his power. He forsakes sin, because it wounds God, 
his Saviour, his Benefactor.t The idea of virtue is here the 
idea of cOInpensatory sacrifice. God has sacrificed hinlself for 
man; therefo)'e lnan must sacrifice himself to God. The 
greater the sacrifice the better the aeed. The more anything 
contradicts man and Nature, the greater the abnegation, the 
greater is the virtue. This merely negative idea of goodness 
has been especially realized and deyeloped bS Catholicisnl. Its 
highest moral i<1ea is that of sacrifice: hence the high signifi. 
cance attached to the denial of sexual love,-to virginity. 


* See on this subject Luther, e,g. T. xiv, p. 286. 
t "Therefore good works mu
t follow faith, as an expression of thank- 
fulness to God."-Al)ol. del' Augs. Conf. art. 3. "How can I make a 
I'f.turn to thee for thy ùeeds of love in work
? yet it is f'omething accept- 
able to thep, if I quench and tame the lusts of the flesh, that they may not 
anew inflame my heart with fresh 
ins." "If sin be:-;tirs itself', I am not 
overcome; a glance at the crOSR of Jesus destroJs its charms."-Gesangbuch. 
del' Evangel. Brüdergemeillen (JHoravian HJT]lln-book). 



THE CONTRADICTION OF FAITH AKD LOVE. 261 


Chastity, or rather virginity, is the characteristic virtue of the 
Catholic faith,-for this reason, that it has nu basis in Nature. 
I t is the n10st fanatical, transcendental, fantastical virtue, 
the virtue of supranaturalistic faith ;-to faith, the highest 
virtue, hut Ül itself no virtue at all. Thus faitb makes 
that a virtue which intrinsically, substantially, is no virtue: it 
has therefore no sense of yirtue; it nlust necessarily depre- 
ciate true virtue because it so exalts a merely apparent virtue, 
because it is guiùed by no idea but that of the negation, the 
contradiction of human nature. 
But although the deeds opposed to love which mark Chris- 
tian religious history, are in accordance ,..-ith Christianity, and 
its antagonists are therefore right in imputing to it the horrible 
actions resulting fi'Olll dogmatic creeds; those deeds nevertheless 
at the same time contradict Christianity, because Chri
tianity 
is not only a rf'ligion of faith, but of love also,-plec1ges us not 
only to faith, but to love. Uncharitable actions, hatred of 
heretics, at once accord and clash with Christianity? how is that 
possible? Perfectly. Christianity sanctions both the actions 
that spring out of love, and the actions that spring from faith 
without love. If Christianity had made love only its law, its 
adherent
 ,,'"ould be right,-the horrors of Christian religious 
l1Îstory could not be imputed to it; if it had made faith only 
its law, the reproaches of its antagonists would be uncondition- 
ally, unrestrictecUy true. But Christianity has not made love 
free; it has not raised itself to the height of accepting love as 
absolute. And it has not given this freedom, nay, cannot give 
it, because it is a religion,-and hence subjects love to the 
dominion of faith. Love is only the exoteric, faith the esoteric 
doctrine of Christianity; love 
is only the 1norality, faith the 
religion of the Christian religion. 
God is loye
 This is the sublimest dictum of Christianity_ 
But the contradiction of faith and love is contained in the very 
IH'Oposition. Love is only a predicate, God the subject. 'Vhat, 
then, is this subject in distinction from love? And I must 
necessarily ask this question, make this distinction. The 
necessity of the distinction would be done away with only if it 
were said conYer
ely: Love is God, love is the absolute being. 
Thus love would take the position of the substance. In the 
proposition" God is love," the subject is the darkness in which 
faith shrouds itself; the predicate is the light, which first illu- 
minates the intrinsically dark subject. In the predicate I affirm 



262 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


love, in the subject faith. Love does not alone fill my soul: I 
leave a place open for my uncharitableness by thinking of God 
as a subject in distinction from the predicate. It is therefore 
inevitable that at one n1ument I lose the thought of love, at 
another the thought of God, that at one mon1ent 1 sacrifice the 
personality of God to the divinity of love, at another the divinity 
of love to the personality of God. The history of Christianity 
has given sufficient proof of this contradiction. Catholicism, 
especially, has celebrated Love as the essential deity with so 
much enthusiasm, that to it the personality of God has been 
eutirely lost in this love. But at the same time it has sacri- 
ficed love to the majesty of faith. Faith clings to the self-sub- 
sistence of God; love does away with it. "God is love," 
means, God is nothing by himself: he who loves, gives up his 
egoistical independence; he makes what he loves indispensable, 
essential to his existence. But while Self is being sunk in the 
depths of love, the idea of the Person rises up again and dis- 
turbs the harIllony of the divine and human nature which had 
been established by love. Faith advances with its pretensions, 
and allows only just so much to Love as belongs to a predicate 
in the ordinary sense. It does not permit loye freely to unfold 
itself; it nUtkes love the a1stract, and itself the concrete, the 
fact, the basis. The love of faith is only a rhetorical figure, a 
poetical fiction of faith,-faith in ecstasy. If Faith comes to 
itself, Love is fled. 
This theoretic contradiction must necessarily manifest itself 
practically. Necessarily; for in Christianity love is tainted by 
faith, it is not free, it is not apprehended truly. A love which 
is limited by f,1Ïth is an untrue love.*" Love knows no law but 
itself; it is divine through itself; it needs not the sanction of 
faith; it is its own basis. The love which is bound by faith, 
is a narrow-hearted, false love, contradicting the idea of love, 
i. e., self-contrac1ictory,-a love which has only a semblitnce of 
holiness, for it hides in itself the hatred that belongs to faith; 
it is only benevolent so long as faith is not injured, Hence, in 
this contradiction with itself, in order to retain the smnblance 
of love, it falls into the most diabolical sophisms, as we see in 


:Me The only limitation which is not contradictory to the nature of love is 
the self-limitation of love by reason, intelligence. The love which despises 
the stringency, the law of the intelligence, is theoretically false and prac. 
tically noxious. 



THE CONTRADICTION OF FAITH AND LOVE. 263 


Augustine's apology for the persecution of heretics. Love is 
limited by faith; hence it does not regard even the uncharitable 
actions 
hieh faith suggests as in contradiction with itself; it 
interprets the deeds of hatred which are committed for the sake 
of faith as deeds of love. And it nece::,sarily falls into such 
contradictions, because the limitation of love by faith is itself 
a contradiction. If it once is subjected to this limitation, it 
has given up its own juelgnlent, its inherent nleasure and crite- 
I'ion, its self-subsistence; it is delivered up without power of 
resistance to the promptings of faith. 
Here we have again an example, that much which is not 
found in the letter of the Bible, is nevertheless there in prin- 
ciple. 'Ve find the same contradictions in the Bible as in 
Augustine, as in Catholicism generally; only that in the latter 
tbey are definitely declared, they are developed into a conspi- 
cuous, anel therefore revolting existence. The BiLle curses 
through faith, blesses through love. But the only love it knows 
is a love founded on faith. Thus here already it is a love which 
curses, an unreliable love, a love which gives me no guarantee 
that it will not turn into hatred; for if I do not acknow- 
ledge the articles of faith I am out of the sphere of love, a child 
of hell, an object of anathema, of the anger of God, to .whom 
the existence of unbelievers is a vexation, a thorn in the eye. 
Christian love has not overcome hell, because it has not over- 
come faith. Love is in itself unbelieving, faith unloving. And 
love is unbelieving because it knows nothing more divine than 
itself, because it believes only in itself as absolute truth. 
Christian love is already signalized as a particular, limited 
love, by the very epithet, Christian. But love is in its nature 
universal. So long as Christian love does not renounce its 
qualification of Christian, does not make love, simply, its 
highest law, so long is it a love which is injurious to the sense 
of truth, for the very office of love is to abolish the distinction 
between Christianity anel so-called heathenism ;-so long is it 
a love wl1Ìeh by its particularity is in contradiction with the 
nature of love, an abnormal, loveless love, which has therefore 
long been justly an object of sarcasm. True love is sufficient 
to itself; it needs no special title, no authority. Love is the 
universal law of intelligence and Nature ;-it is nothing else 
than the realization of the unity of the species through the 
medium of moral sentiment. To found this love on the name 
of a person, is only possible by the association of superstitious 



264 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


ideas, either of a religious or speculative character. For with 
superstition is always associated particularisIn, and with IHtr- 
ticularisI11. fanaticisnl. Love can only be founded on the 
unity of the species, the unity of intelligence-on the nature 
of nlankind; then only is it a well-grounded love, safe in its 
principle, guarnnteed, free, for it is fed hy the original source 
of love, out of which the love of Christ himself arose. The love 
of Christ was itself a derived love. He loved us not out of 
himself, by virtue of his own authority, hut by virtue of our 
common hunlan nature. A loye which is based on his person 
is a particular, exclusive love, which extends only so far as the 
acknowledglnent of this person extends, a love which does not 
rest on the proper ground of love. Are we to love each other 
because Christ loyed us? Such love wonld be an affected, 
Ï1nitative love. Can we truly love each other only if we love 
Christ? Is Christ the cause of love? Is he not rather the 
apostle of love? Is not the ground of his love the unity of 
hunlan nature? Shall I love Christ nlore than lnankind? Is 
not such love a chimerical love '! Can I step beyond the idea 
of the species? Can I love anything higher than hUIllanity? 
'Vhat ennobled Christ wa
 love; whatever qualities he had, he 
held in fealty to love; he was not the proprietor of love, as he 
is represented to be in all superstitious conceptions. The idea 
of love is an independen.t idea: I do not first deduce it froln 
the life of Christ; on the contrary, I revere that life only 
because I find it accordant with the law, the idea of love. 
This is already proved historically by the fact that the iùea 
of love was bv no means first introduced into the consciousness 
of mall kind ;ith and by Christianity,-is by no means peculiarly 
Christian. The horrors of the Roman Empire present thenl- 
selves with striking significance in conlpany with the appear- 
ance of this idea. The empire of policy which united nlen 
after a manller corresponding with its own idea, was coming to 
its necessary end. Political unity is a unity of force. The 
despotisnl of Rome must turn in uì:on itself, destroy itself. But 
it was precisely tlu'ough thi
 catastrophe of political existence 
that man released him
elf entirely froln the heart-stifling toils 
of !)olitics. In the plaee of ROJlle, appearecl the idea of 
humanity; to the idea of dominion succeeded the idea of love. 
Even the Jews, by Ílllbibing the principle of humanity con- 
tained in Greek culture, had bv this tiIne nlo11ified their 
malignant religious separatism. Philo celebrates love as the 



THE CONTRADICTION OF FAITH AND LOVE. 265 


highest virtue. The extinction of national differences lay in 
the idea of humanity itself. Thinking minds had very early 
overstepped the civil and political separation of nlan from man. 
Aristotle distinguishes the man from the slave, and places the 
slave, as a man, on a level with his master, uniting them in 
friendship. Epictetus, the slave, ,vas a Stoic; Antoninus, the 
emperor, was a Stoic also, thus did philosophy unite nlell. The 
Stoics taught* that man was not born for his own sake, but 
for the sake of others, i. e., for love :-a principle which implies 
infinitely nlore than the celebrated dictlnn of the Emperor 
Antoninus, which enjoined the love of enemies. The practical 
principle of the Stoics is so far the principle of love. The 
world is to them one city, men its citizens. Seneca, in tl)e 
sublimest sayings, extols love, clemency, humanity, especially 
towards slaves. Thus political rigour and patriotic narrowness 
were on the wane. 
Christianity was a peculiar nlanifestation of these human 
tendencies ;-a popular, consequently a religious, and certainly 
a most intense manifestation of this new principle of love. 
That which elsewhere made itself apparent in the process of 
culture, expressed itself here as religious feeling, as a matter 
of faith. Christianity thus reduced a general unity to a par- 
ticular one, it made loye collateral to faith; and by this 
means it placed itself in contradiction with universal love. 
The unity was not referred to its trne origin. National differ. 
ences indeed disappeared; but in their place difference of faith, 
the opposition of Christian and un-Christian, nlore vehement 
than a national antagonism and also more malignant, made its 
appearance in history. 
All love founded on a special historical phenomenon con- 
tradicts, as has been said, the nature of love, which endures 
no limits, which triumphs over all particuhirity. J\fan is to be 
loved for man's sake. Man is an object of love because he is 
an end in himself, because he is a rational and loving being. 
This is the law of the species, the law.of the intelligence. Love 
should be immediate, undetermined by anything else than its ob- 
ject;-nay, only as such is it love. But if I interpose between 
my fellow-man and myself the idea of an individuality, in whom 
the iùea of the species is suppo
ed to be already realized, I 


* The Peripatetics also; who founded love, even that towards all men, 
not on a particular, religious, but a natural principle. . 
N 



266 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


annihilate the very soul of love, I disturb the unity by the idea 
of a third external to us; for in that case my fellow-man is an 
object of love to me only on account of his resemblance or re- 
lation to this model, not for his own sake. Here all the con- 
tradictions reappear which we have in the personality of God, 
,vhere the idea of the personality by itself
 without regard to the 
qualities which render it worthy of love and reverence, fixes 
itself in the consciousness and feelings. Love is the subjec- 
tive reality of the species, as reason is its objective reality. In 
love, in reason, the need of an intermediate person disappears. 
Christ is nothing but an image, under which the unity of the 
species has inlpressed itself on the popular consciousness. 
Christ loved men: he wished to bless and unite thenl all without 
dIstinction of sex, age, rank, or nationality. Christ is the love 
of lnankind to itself mnbodied in an image-in accordance 
.with the nature of religion as we have developed it-or con- 
tmnplated as a person, but a person who (we meaJ
, of course, 
as a religious oLject) has only the significance of an iInage, 
who is only ideal. For this reason love is pronounced to be the 
characteristic mark of the disciples. But love, as has been 
said, is nothing else than the active proof, the realization of 
the unity of the race, through the medium of the nloral dispo- 
sition. The species is not an abstraction; it exists in feeling, 
in the moral sentiment, in the energy of love. It is the species 
which infuses love into me. A loving heart is the heart of the 
species throbbing in the individual. Thus Christ, as the 
consciousness of love, is the consciousness of the species. 'Ve 
are all one in Christ. Christ is the consciousness of our 
identity. He therefore who loves man for the sake of man, 
who ri
es to the love of the species, to universal love, adequate 
to the nature of the species,* he is a Christian, is Christ hÏ1n- 
self. He does what Christ did, what made Christ Christ. 
Thus, where there arises the consciousness of the species as a 
species, the idea of humanity as a whole, Christ disappears, 
without, however, his true nature disappearing; for he was the 
substitute for the consciousness of the species, the iInage under 
which it was made present to the people, and became the law 
of the popular life. 


* Active love is and must of course always be particular and limited, i. e., 
directed to one's neighbour. But it is yet in its nature universal, since it 
loves man for man's sake, in the name of the race. Clu'istianlove, on the 
contrary, is in its nature exclusive. 



CONCLUDING APPLICATION. 


267 


CHAPTER XX.VII. 


CONCLUDING APPLICATION. 


IN the contradiction between FaIth and Love which has just 
been exhibited, ,ve see the practical, palpable ground of 
necessity that we should raise ourselves above Christianity, 
above the peculiar stand-point of all religion. \Ve have 
shown that the substance anù object of religion is altogether 
human; we have shown that <.livine ,visdom is human wis<.lonl; 
that the secret of theology is anthropology; that the al)solute 
mind i
 the so-caUeù finite subjective mind. But religion is 
not conscious that its elements are human; on the contrary, it 
places itself in opposition to the human, or at least it does not 
adn1Ït that its elements are human. The necessary turning- 
point of history is therefore the open confession, that the con- 
sciousness of God is nothing else than the consciousness of 
the species; that man can and should raise himself only al)ove 
the limits of his individuality, and not above the laws, the 
posìtive essential conditions of his sl)ecies; tllat there is no 
other essence which man can think, dream of, imagine, feel, 
believe in, wish for, love and adore as the absol1.Lte, than the 
essence of human nature itself.* 
Our relation to religion is therefore not a merely negative, but 
a critical one; we only separate the true from the false ;-though 
we grant that the truth thus separated from falsehood is a new 
truth, essentially different from the old. Religion is the first fornl 
of self-consciousness. Religions are sacred because they are the 
traditions of the primitive self-consciousness. But that ","hich 
in religion holds the first place,-namely, God,-is, as we have 
shown, in itself and according to truth, the second, for it is only 


* Including external Nature; for as man belongs to the essenceofN ature,- 
in opposition to common materialism; so Nature belongs to the essence of 
man,-in opposition to subjective idealism; which is also the secret of our 
"absolute" l)hilosophy, at least in relation to Nature. Ouly by uniting 
man with Nature can we conquer the supranaturalistic egoism of Christianity. 
N2 



268 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


the nature of luan regarded ol)jectively; and that ,vhich to re- 
ligion is the second,-namely, man,-must therefore l)e consti- 
tuted Hnd declared the first. Loye to man must be no derivative 
love; it must l)e original. If human nature is the highest 
nature to man, then lwactically also the highest and first law 
Blust l)e the love of man to man. HO'J7to hO'l1Ûni Deus est :- 
this is the great practical principle :-this is the axis on 
which reyolves the history of the world. The relations of 
child and parent, of hus1)a:rÎd and wife, of brother and friend,- 
in general, of man to man,-in short, all the moral relations 
are per se religious. Life as a whole is, in its essential, sub- 
stantial relation
, throughout of a divine nature. I ts religious 
consecration is not first conferred by the l)lessing of the priest. 
But the pretension of religion is that it can hallow an object by 
its essential1y external co-operation; it thereby assumes to be 
itself the only holy power; l)esides itself it knows only earthly, 
ungodly relations; hence it comes forward in order to con- 
secrate them and make them holy. 
But marriage-we mean, of coiIrse, man'iage as the free l)ond 
of love*-is sacred in itself, l)y the very nature of the union 
,vhich is therein effected. That alone is a religious marriage, 
which is a true marriage, which corresponds to the essence of 
marriage-of love. And so it is with all moral relations. Then 
only are theYlnoral,-then only are they enjoyed in a n10ral spirit, 
when they are regarded as sacred in themselves. True friend- 
ship exists only when the l)oulldaries of friendship are preserved 
,vith religious conscientiousness, with the sanle conscientious- 
ness ,vith which the believer watches over the dignity of his 
God. Let friendship be sacred to thee, property sacred, 
marriage sacred,-sacred the well-being of every man; but 
let th81n be sacred in ancl by tlze'Jnseb;es. 
In Christianity the moral laws are regarded as the com- 
mandments of God; morality is even made the criterion of 
piety; but ethics have nevertheless a subordinate rank, they 
have not in themselves a religious significance. This l)elongs 
only to faith. Above morality hovers God, as a being distinct 


:11= Yes, only as the free bond of love; for a marriage the bond of which is 
merely an external restriction, not the voluntary, contented self-restriction of 
love, in short, a maniage which is notspontal1eously concluded, spontaneously 
willed, self-sufficing, is not a true marriage, and therefore not a truly moral 
marriage, 



COXCLUDING APPLICATIO
. 


269 


from man, a being to whom the best is due, wlále the relllnants 
only fall to the share of JUan. All those dispositions which 
ought to be devoted to life, to man,-all the best powers of 
hunlanity, are lavished on the being who wants nothing. The 
real cause is converted into an Ï1npersonal means, a merely 
conceptional, Ï1naginary cause usurps the place of the true one. 
J\Ian thanks God for those lJenefits which have been rendered 
to him even at the cost of sacrifice by his fellow-man. The 
gratitude which he expresses to his lJenefactor is only' osten- 
silJle; it is paid, not to him, but to God. lIe is thankful, 
grateful to God, but unthankful to man. * Thus is the llloral 
sentiment su bvertecl in religion! Thus does Ulan sacrifice 
man to God! The lJloody human sacrifice is in fact only a 
rude, material expression of the inmost secret of religion. 
'Vhere bloody human sacrifices are offered to God, such 
sacrifices are regarded as the highest thing, physical existence 
as the chief good. For this reason life is sacrificed to God, 
and it is so on extraordinary occasions; the supposition being 
that this is the way to show him the greatest honour. If Chris- 
tianity no longer, at least in our day, offers lJloody sacrifices to 
its God, this arises, to say nothing of other reasons, from the fact 
that physical existence is no longer regarded as the highest goo(l. 
Hence the soul, th.e emotions are now offered to God, lJecause 
these are held to be something higher. But the common case is, 
that in religion man saerifices some duty towards lnan-such as 
that of respecting the life of his fellow, of being grateful to him- 
to a religious 0 bligation,-sacrifices his relation to nlan to his 
relation to God. The Christians, by the idea that God is without 
wants, and that he is only an object of pure adoration, have 
certainly done away with many pernicious conceptions. But 
this freedom from wants is only a metaphysical idea, which is 
by no means part of the peculiar nature of religion. \Vhen the 
need for worship is supposed to exist only on one side, the sub- 
jective side, this has the inyariable effect of one-sidedness, and 


=I: "Because God does good through government, great men and creatures 
in g-eneral, people ru::;h into error, lean .on creatures and not on the Creator; 
-they do not look from the creature to the Creator. Hence it came that the 
heathens made gods of kings . . . . . . For the-y caunot anù will not per- 
ceive that the work or the benefit comes from God, and not merely from the- 
creatllre, though the latter is a nleans, through whieh God works, helps us, 
and gives to lis."-Luther (T. iv. p. 237). 



270 


THE ESSEKCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


leaves the religious emotions cold; hence, if not in express 
,vords, yet in fact, there must be attributed to God a condition 
corresponding to the subjective need, the need ofthewol'shipper, 
in order to establish reciprocity.* All the positive definitions 
of religion are 1Jabed on reciprocity. The religious n1an thinks 
of God, l)ecause God thinks of him; he loves God, because 
God has first loved him. God is jealous of man; religion is 
jealous of morality;t it sucks away the best forces of mora.lity; 
it renders to man only the things that are man's, but to God the 
things that are God's; o'nel to Him is rendered true, living 
emotion,-the heart. 
"\Vhen in times in which peculiar sanctity was attached to 
religion, ,ve find luarriage, property, anel civil law resl)ected, 
this has not its foundation in religion, but in the original, 
natural sense of morality anel right, to which the true 
social relatiùns are sacred as s1lch. He to whom the Right is 
not holy for its own sake, will never l)e made to feel it sacred 
by religion. Property did not become sacred because it was 
regarded as a divine institution; but it was regarded as a divine 
institution because it \vas felt to be in itself sacred. Love is 
not holy, because it is a predicate of God, but it is a predicate 
of God because it is in itself divine. The heathens do not 
worship the light or the fountain, because it is a gift of God, 


* "They who honour me, I will honour, and they who despise me shall be 
lightly esteemed."-l Sam. ii. 30. "Jam se, 0 bone pater, vermis vilissimus 
et odio dignissimus sempiterno, tamen confidit amari, quonimn se sentit 
amare, imo quia se amari præsentit, non rcdamare confunditur . . . . . . 
Nemo itaque se amari ùiffidat, qui jam amat."-Bernardus ad Thomam 
(Epist. 107). A \Tery fine aud pregnant sentence. If I exist not for God, 
God exists not for me; if I do not love, I am not loved. The passive is 
the active certain of itself, the object is the subject certain of itself. To 
love is to be man, to be loved is to be God. I am loved, says God; I love, 
says man. It is not until later that this is reversed, that the passive trans- 
forms itself into the active, and conversely. 
t "The Lord t;pake to Gideon: The people are too many, that are with 
thee, that I should give l\Iidian into their hands; Israel might glorify 
itself against mp and say: My hand has delivered me,"-i. e., "Ne Israel 
f'ibi tribuat, quæ mihi debentur." Judges vii. 2. "Thus saith the Lord: 
Cursed is the man that trusteth in man. But blessed is the man that 
trusteth in the Lord and whose hope is in the Lord."-Jer. xvii. 5. "God 
desires not our gold, boíly anù possessions, but has given these to the 
emperor, (that is, to the l'epresentative of tlle world, of the state,) and to us 
through the emperor. But the heart, which is the greatest and best in 
man, he has reserveù for himself ;-this must be our otlering to God-that 
we believe in him."-Luther (xvi. p. 505). 



CONCLUDING APPLICATION. 


271 


but because it has of itself a beneficial influence on Inan, 
because it refreshes the sufferer; on account of this excellént 
quality they pay it divine honours. 
"-'-herever morality is based on theology, wherever the right 
is made dependent on divine authority, the most immoral, un- 
just, infanlons things can l)e justified and established. Jean 
founel morality on theology only when I luyself have already 
definee1 the divine being by means of morality. In the contrary 
case, I have no criterion of the nloral and immoral, but 111erely 
an 'llnmoral, arbitrary basis, from which I may deduce anything 
I please. Thus, if I would founel morality on God, I must 
first of all place it in God: for 1\Iorality, Right, in short, all 
substantial relations, have their only basis in themselves, can 
only have a real foundation-such as truth dmnancls-when 
they are thus based. To place anything in God, or to derive 
anything fronl God, is nothing more than to withdraw it frolll 
the test of reason, to institute it as indu1)itable, unassailable, 
sacred, without renelering an account lchy. Hence self-delusion, 
if not wicked, insidious design, is at the root of all efforts to 
establish morality, right, on theology. 'Yhere we are in 
earnest about the right we need no incitement or support from 
above. 'Ye need no Christian rule of political right; ,ve need 
only one which is rational, just, human. The right, the true, 
the good, has always its ground of sacredness in itself, in its 
quality. 'Yhere Ilian is in earnest about ethics, they have in 
themselves the validity of a divine power. If morality has no 
foundation in itself, there is no inherent necessity for n10rality; 
morality is then surrendered to the groundless arbitrariness of 
religion. 
Thus the work of the self-conscious reason in relation to 
religion is simply to destroy an illusion :-an illusion, how- 
ever, which is by no Ineans indifferent, but which, on the con- 
trary, is profourÎdly injurious in its effect on mankind; which 
deprives man as well of the power of real life, as of the genuine 
sense of truth anel virtue; for even love, in itself the deE'pest, 
truest emotion, becomes lJY mE'ans of religiousness n1erely 
ostensib1e, illusory, since religious love gives itself to man only 
for Goel's sake, so that it is given only in appearance to luan, 
but in reality to God. 
And we need only, as we have shown, invert the religious 
relations-regard that as 
n ene1 which religion snpIJoses to be 
a means-exalt that into the primary which in religion is sub- 



272 


THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. 


ordinate, the accessory, the condition,-at once we have de- 
stroyed the illusion, ai1cl the unclouded light of truth streams 
in upon us. The sacralnents of Baptism and the Lord's 
Supper, which are the characteristic symbols of the Christian 
religion, Inay serve to confirll1 ancl exhibit this truth. 
The 'Yater of Baptism is to religion only the means by which 
the Holy Spirit Í1llparts itself to nlan. But by this conception 
it is placed in contradiction with reason, with the truth of 
things. On the one hand, there is virtue in the objective, 
natural quality of water; on the other, there is none, but it is 
a merely arl)itrary lllediunl of divine grace and omnipotence. 
'Ve free ourselves from these and other irreconüilable contra- 
dictions, we give a true significance to Baptism, only by re- 
garding it as a syml)ol of the value of water itself. Baptism 
should rf'present to us the wonderful but natural effect of water 
on man. 'Vater has in fact not nlerely physical effects, 
but also, and as a result of these, moral and intellectual effects 
on man. 'Vater not only cleanses man from bodily impurities, 
but in water the scales fall from his eyes: he sees, he thinks, 
more clearly; he feels himself freer; water extinguishes the 
fire of appetite. How many saints have had recourse to the 
natural qualities of water, in order to overcome the assaults of 
the devil! \Vhat was deniecl by Grace has been granted by 
N ature. 'Vater plays a. part not only in dietetics, but also in 
moral and mental discipline. To purify oneself, to bathe, is 
the first, though the lowest of virtues. * In the streal11 of 
water the fever of selfishness is allayed. \Vater is the readiest 
lneans of making friends with Nature. The bath is a sort uf 
ch81nical procf'ss, in wl1Ích our indivicluality is resolved into the 
objective life of N atnre. The man rising from the water is a 


* Christian bapti
In also is obviously only a relic of the ancient Nature- 
worship, in which, as in the Persian, water was a means of religious purifi- 
cation. (S. Rhode: Die heilige Sage, &c. pp, 305, 12ß.) Ifere, however, 
water baptism had a luuch truer, and consequently a deeper 111eaning, than 
with tlw Christians, because it rested on the natural power and value of 
water. But indeed for the::;e simple views of Nature which characterized the 
old religions, our speculative as well as theological supranaturalism has 
neither sense nor understanding. "1lCn therefore the Per
ians, the 
Hindoos, the Egyptian::;, the Hebrews, made p}}'ysical purity a religious 
duty, they were herein fal' wiser than the Christian saints, who attested 
the supranaturalistic principle of their religion by physical impurity. 
Supranatnralism in theory beconws anti-naturalism in practice. Supra- 
natul'ali::;m is only a euphemism for anti-naturalism. 



CONCLUDING APPLICATION. 


273 


ne,v, a regenerate man. The doctrine that lnorality can do 
nothing \,yithout Blenns of grace, has a valid meaning if, in 
place of inlaginary, supernatnralll1eanS of grace, we substitute 
natural means. 1\loral feeling can effect nothing without 
Nature; it must ally itself with the simplest natural means. 
The profoundest secrets lie in COlnmon every-day things, such 
as supranaturalistic religion and speculation ignore, thus 
sacrificing real nlysteries to imaginary, illusory ones; as 
here, for example, the real power of water is sacrificed to an 
imaginary one. 'Vater is the sÏ1nplest means of grace or healing 
for the 111aladies of the soul as well as of the body. But water 
is effectual only where its use is constant and reguiar. Bëlptism, 
as a single act, is either an altogether useless and unmeaning 
institution, or, if real effects are attributecl to it, ft superstitious 
one. But it is a rational, a veneral)le institution, if it is under- 
stood to typify and celebrate the moral and physical curative 
virtues of water. 
But the SaCrall1ent of water required a supplement. "\Vater, 
as a universal element of life, reu1inds us of our origin fi'om 
Nature, an origin which we have in conlmon with plants and 
animals. In Baptism we bow to the power of a pure 
 ature- 
force; water is the element of natural equality and freedom, 
the mirror of the golden age. But we men are distinguished 
from the plants and animals, which together with the inorganic 
kingdom we comprehencl under the conllnon name of Nature; 
-we are distinguibhed from Nature. Hence .we must celebrate 
our distinction, our specific clifterence. The symbols of this 
our difference are bread and wine. Bread and wine are, as to 
their nlaterials, products of Nature; as to their form, products 
of man. If in water we declare: man can do nothing without 
Nature; bv bread and wine we declare: :Nature needs n1an, as 
nlan needR oN ature. In water, human, mental activity is nulli- 
fied; in bread and wine it attains self-satisfaction. Bread and 
wine are supernatural products,-in the only valid and true 
sense, the sense which is not in contradiction with reason and 
Nature. If in water we adore the pure force of K ature, in bread. 
and wine we adore the supernatural power of lllincl, of con- 
sciousness, of man. Hence this SaCl':nl1ent is only for man 
Inatured into consciousness; while lJaptislll is imparted to in- 
fants. But we at the same tÜlle celelJrate here the true relation of 
mind to Nature: Nature gives the material, mind gives the form. 
The sacrament of Baptism inspires us with thankfulness 
N3 



274 


THE ESSENCE O
"I CHRISTIANITY. 


towards Nature, the sacrament of bread and wine with thank- 
fulness towards man. Bread and wine typify to us the truth 
that l\Ian is the true God and Saviour of man. 
Eating and drinking is the In-ystery of the Lord's Supper; 
-eating and drinking is in fact in itself a religious act; at 
least, ought to be so.* Think, therefore, with every morsel of 
bread which relieves thee from the pain of hunger, with every 
draught of wine which cheers thy heart, of the God, who con- 
fers these beneficent gifts upon thee,-think of 1\lan! But in 
thy gratitude towards man forget not gratitude towards holy 
Nature! Forget not that wine is the blood of plants, and flour 
the flesh of plants, which are sacrificed for thy well-being! For- 
get not that the plant typifies to thee the essence of Nature, 
which lovingly surrenders itself for thy enjoyment! Therefore 
forget not the gratitude which thou owest to the natural quali- 
ties of bread and wine! .And if thou art inclined to smile that 
I call eating and drinking religions acts, because they are com- 
mon every-day acts, and are therefore performed by 111lIltitudes 
without thought, without emotion; reflect, that the Lord's Sup- 
per is to 11lultitudes a thoughtless, emotionless act, because it 
takes place often; and, for the sake of comprehending the reli- 
gious significance of bread and wine, place thyself in a posi- 
tion where the daily aût is unnaturally, violently interrupted. 
Hunger and thirst destroy not. only the physical but also the 
mental and moral powers of man; they rob him of his 
lnunanity-of understanding, of consciousness. Oh! if thou 
shouldst ever experience such want, how wouldst thou bless 
and praise the natural qualities of bread and wine, which 
restore to thee thy humanity, thy intellect! It needs only that 
the ordinary course of things be interrupted in order to vincli- 
cate to C0l11mOn things an uncommon significance, to z.ife, as 
such, a religious import. Therefore let bread be sacreù for us, 
let wine be sacred, and also let \vater be sacred! Amen. 


* "Eating and drinking is the easiest of all work, for men like nothing 
better: yea, the most joyful work in the whole world is eating and drinking, 
as it is commonly said: Before eating no dancing, and, On a full stomach 
stands a Inerry head. In short, eating and drinking is a pleasant necessary 
work;-that is a doctrine soon learned and nlaùe popular. The same pleasant 
necessary work takes our blessed Lord Christ and says: "I have prepared 
a joyful, sweet and pleasant meal, I will lay on you no hard heavy work . . 
I institute a supper," &c.-Luther (xvi. 222). 



APPENDIX. 


EXPLANATIONS-REJ\IARKS-ILLDSTRATIVE CITATIONS. 



 1. 


},f an has his higlwst being, Ids God, in hÍ1nself
' not in himself as 
an individual, but in his essential nature, his species. No indi- 
vidual is an adequate representation of his species, hut only the 
human individual is conscious of the distinction behveen the species 
and the individual j in the sense of this distinction lies the root of 
religion. The yearning of man after something above himself is 
nothing else than the longing after the perfect tYIJe of his nature, 
the yearning to be free from himself, i. e., from the limits and 
defects of his inrlividuality. Individuality is the self-conditionating, 
the self-lilnitation of the species. Thus nlan has cognizance of 
nothing above himself, of nothing beyond the nature of humanity j 
but to the individual man this nature presents itself under the 
form of an individual man. Thus, for example, the child sees the 
nature of man above itself in the form of its parents, the IJupil in 
the forIn of his tutor. But all feelings which lnan experiences 
towards a superior man, nay, in general, all nloral feelings which 
man has towards man, are of a religious nature.* .J/an feels 
nothing towards God UJlticl
 Ibe does not also feel towa/nls man. 
H orno lwrnini deu
s est. 'V ant teaches prayer; but in misfortune, 
in sorrow, man kneels to entreat help of man also. Feeling makes 
God a man, but for the same reason it makes man a Goù. Ho,v 
often in deep emotion, which alone speaks genuine truth, Dlan 
exclaims to man: Thou art, thou hast been DlY redeemer, Iny 
saviour, my protecting spirit, my God! "'-tVe feel awe, reverence, 
humility, devout achniration, in thinking of a truly great, noble 
man j we feel ourselves worthless, we sink into nothing, even in 
the presence of human greatnesH. The purely, truly human emo- 
tions are religious j but for that reason the religious emotions are 
purely human: the only difference is, that the religious en lotions 


* "Manifestum igitur est tantum religionis sanguini et affinitati, quantum ipsis 
Diis immortalibus tributum: quia inter ista tam sancta vincula non magis, quam 
in aliquoloco sacrato nudare se, nefas esse credebatur."-Valer. Max. (1. ii. c. i.). 



27ß 


APPESDIX. 


are vague, indefinite; but even this is only the case ,vhen the 
object of them is indefinite. 'Vhere God is positively defined, is _ 
the object of positive religion, there God is also the ohject of 
positive, definite human feelings, the object of fear and love, and 
therefore he is a positively human being j for there is nothing more 
in God than what lies in feeling. If in the heart there is fear and 
terror, in God there is anger j if in the heart there is joy, hope, 
confidence, in God there is love. Fear makes itself objective in 
anger; joy in love, in mercy. " As it is with me in my heart, so 
is it with God." "As my heart is, so is God."-Luther (T. i. 
p. 72). But a lllerciful and angry God-Deus vere i'}"{tscitur 
(l\felancthon)-is a God no longer distinguishable from the human 
feelings and nature. Thus even in religion Ulan bows before the 
nature of man under the fonn of a personal hunlan being; religion 
itself expressly declares-and all anthropomorphisms declare this 
in opposition to pantheism,-quod supra nos nilâl ad nos; that is, 
a God ,vho inspires us with no human emotions, who does not 
reflect our own emotions, in a -word, \vho is not a man,-sllch a 
God is nothing to us, has no interest for us, does not concern us. 
(See the passages cited in this ,york from Luther.) 
Religion has thus no dispositions and emotions which are peculiar 
to itself j what it claims as belonging exclusively to its object, are 
simply the same dispositions and emotions that man experiences 
either in r
lation to hinlself (as, for example, to his conscience), or 
to his fello,v-nlan, or to Nature. You must not fear men, but 
God j you lllust not love man,-i. e., not truly, for his own sake,- 
but God; you must not lnunble yourselves before human greatness, 
but only before the Lord; not believe and confide in man, but only 
in God. Hence comes the danger of ,vorshipping false gods in dis- 
tinction from the true God. Hence the "j ealousy" of God. " Ego 
J ehova, Deus tuus, Deus sum zelotypus. Ut zelotypus vir dicitur, 
qui rivalem pati nequit: sic Deus sociunl in cultu, quem aù homini- 
bus postulat, ferre non potest." (Clericus, Comment. in Exocl. c. 20, 
v. 5.) Jealousy arises because a being preferred and loved by 
Ine directs to another the feelings and dispositions which I clainl 
for nlyself. But how could I be jealous if the impressions and 
emotions ,vhich I excite in the beloved being were altogether 
peculiar and apart, ,vere essentially different from the impressions 
which another can make on him 1 If, therefore, the enlotions of 
religion were objectively, essentially different from those which lie 
out of religion, there would be no possibility of idolatry in man, 
or of jealousy in God. As the flute has another sound to nle than 
the trumpet, and I call not confound the ÎInpressions produced by 
the former vrith the inlpressions produced hy the latter j so I could 
not transfer to a natm'al or human being the emotions of religion, 



APPENDIX. 


277 


iî the object of religion, God, "were specifically different frOln the 
natural or human being, and consequently the impressions which 
he produced on me were specific, peculiar. 



 2. 


Feeling alone is tlte object of feeling. Feeling is sYll1pathy; 
feeling arises only in the love of man to man. Sensations nlan 
has in isolation; feelings only in community. Only in sympathy 
does sensation rise into feeling. Feeling is æsthetic, hunlan sensa- 
tion; only 'what is hlul1an, is the object of feeling. In feeling 
luan is related to his fello'w man as to hiInself; he is alive to the 
sorrows, the joys of another as his own. Thus only by commu- 
nication does man rise above merely egoistic sensation into feel- 
ing ;-participated sensation is feeling. He .who has no need of 
participating has no feeling. But .what does the hand, the kiss, 
the glance, the voice, the tone, the ,vord-as the expression of 
enlotion-impart 1 Enlotion. The very same thing which, pro- 
nounced or performed without the appropriate tone, without 
emotion, is only an object of indifferent perception, becomes, 
when uttered or performed with emotion, an object of feeling. 
To feel is to have a sense of sensations, to have emotion in the 
perception of emotion. I-Ience the brutes rise to feeling only in 
the sexual relation, and therefore only transiently; for here the 
being experiences sensation not in relation to itself taken alone, 
or to an object without sensation, but to a being having like 
enlotions .with itself,-not to another as a distinct object, but to an 
oLject which in species is identical. Hence Nature is an object of 
feeling to nle only when I regard it as a being akin to me, and in 
sympathy with me. 
It is clear from ,vhat has been said, that only where in truth, if 
not according to the subjective conception, the distinction between 
the divine and human being is abolished, is the objective existence 
of God, the existence of GoJ as all objective, distinct heing, abo- 
lished :-only there, I say, is religion made a mere matter of feeling, 
or conversely, feeling the chief point in religion. The last refuge 
of theology therefore is feeling. God is renounced by the under- 
standing; he has no longer the dignity of a real object, of a reality 
which Ï1nposes itself on the understanding; hence he is transferred 
to feeling; in feeling his existence is thought to be secure. And 
doubtless this is the safest refuge; for to make feeling the essence of 
religion is nothing else than to make feelÏ1lg the essence of God And 
as certainly as I exist, so certainly does nlY feeling exist; and as cer- 
tainlyas my feeling exists, so certainly does my God exist. The 
certainty of God is here nothing else than the self-certainty of 



278 


APPENDIX. 


human feeling, the yearning after God is the yearning after un- 
limited, uninterrupted, pure feeling. In life the feelings are 
interrupted; they collapse; they are followed by a state of void, 
of insensibility. The religious problem, therefore, is to give fixity 
to feeling in spite of the vicissitudes of life, and to separate it from 
repugnant disturbances and limitations: God himself is nothing 
else than undisturbed, uninterrupted feeling, feeling for which there 
exists no limits, no opposite. If God were a being distinct from thy 
feeling, he would be known to thee in some other way than simply 
in feeling; but just because thou perceive
t him only by feeling, he 
exists only in feeling-he is himself only feeling. 



 3. 


God is 'Inan' 8 ld glwst feeling of self, freed from all contrarieties, or 
disay?'eeables. God is the highest being; therefore, to feel God is 
the highest feeling. But is not the highest feeling also the highest 
feeling of self
 So long as I have not had the feeling of the 
highest, so long I have not exhausted my capacity of feeling, so 
long I do not yet fully kno-w the nature of feeling. vVhat, then, is 
an object to me in my feeling of the highest being? Nothing else 
than the highest nature of my power of feeling. So much as a 
man can feel, so much is (his) God. But the highest degree of the 
power of feeling is also the highest degree of the feeling of self. 
In the feeling of the low I feel myself lowered, in the feeling of the 
higl
 I feel myself exalted. The feeling of self and feeling are in- 
separable, otherwise feeling would not belong to ill yself. Thus 
God, as an object of feeling, or what is the same thing, the feeling 
of God, is nothing else than man's highest feeling of self. But 
God is the freest, or rather the absolutely, only free being; thus 
God is nlan's highest feeling of freedom. I-Iow coul<1st thou lJe 
conscious of the highest being as freedom, or freedonl as the highest 
being, if thou clidst not feel thyself free 
 But when dost thou 
feel thyself free 1 'Vhen thou feelest God. To feel God is to feel 
oneself free. For example, thou feelest desire, passion, the con- 
ditions of time and place, as limits. What thou feelest as a limit 
thou strugglest against, thou breakest loose from, thou deniest. 
The consciousness of a lilnit, as such, is already an anathema, a 
sentence of condemnation pronounced on this lin1Ìt, for it is an 
oppressive, disagreeable, negative consciousness. Only the feeling 
of the good, of the positive, is itself good and positive-is joy. Joy 
alone is feeling in its element, its paradise, because it is unrestricted 
activity. The sense of pain in an organ is nothing else than the 
sense of a disturbed, obstructed, thwarted activity; in a ,vord, the 



APPENDIX. 


27ü 


sense of something abnormal, anomalous. Hence thou strivest to 
escape from the sense of limitation into unlimited feeling. By 
means of the will, or the inlagination, thou negativest lin1Ïts, and 
thus obtainest the feeling of freedom. This feeling of freedom is God. 
God is exalted above desire and passion, above the lin1Ïts of space 
and time. But this exaltation is thy o'vn exaltation above that 
which appears to thee as a limit. Does not this exaltation of the 
divine ùeing exalt thee 1 How could it do so, if it were external 
to thee
 No; God is an exalted being only for him who hill1self 
has exalted thoughts and feelings. I-Ience the exaltation of the 
divine being varies according to that .which different men, or 
nations, perceive as a limitation to the feeling of self, and ,vhich 
they consequently negative, or eliminate from their ideal. 



 4. 


The distinction between the "heathen," or pltilosopl-dc, and tlw 
Cltristinn God-tlte non-human, or pantheistic, and the hU'/ìW;n, 
personal God---reduces itself only to tlte distinction between the 
unde'i'standing or reason, and the Iteart or feelings. Reason is the 
self-consciousness of the species, as such; feeling is the self-con- 
sciousness of individuality; the reason has relation to existences, 
as things; the heart to existences, as persons. I a1n is an expres- 
sion of the heart.1' I tlânk, of the reason. Cogito, ergo surn? No! 
Sentio, ergo S'U1ìl. Feeling only is my existence; thinking is my 
non-existence, the negation of my individuality, the positing of the 
species; reason is the annihilation of personality. To think is an 
act of spiritual marriage. Only beings of the same species under- 
staoo each other; the impulse to communicate thought is the in- 
tellectual impulse of sex. Reason is cold, because its maxim is, 
uudiatur et altera p((;rs, because it ùoes not interest itself in man 
alone; but the heart is a partisan of man. Reason loves all im- 
partially, but the heart only what is like itself. It is true that 
the heart has pity also on the brutes, but only because it sees in 
the brute something more than the brute. The heart loves oruy 
what it identifies with itself. It says: Whatsoever thou dost to 
this being, thou dost to me. The heart loves only itself; does not 
get beyond itself, beyond man. The superhuman God is nothing 
else than the supernatural heart; the heart does not give us the 
idea of ((;1wtlter, of a being different from ourselves. " For the 
heart, Nature is an echo, in which it hears only itself. Emotion, 
in the excess of its happiness, transfers itself to external things. It 
is the love ,vhich can withhold itself from no existence, which gives 
itself forth to all j but it only recogniB
s as existing that .which it 



2S0 


APPENDIX. 


kno"\vs to have emotion."* Reason, on the contrary, has pity 011 
animals, not because it fillds itself in them, or identifies theln with 
nlan, but because it recognises them as beings distinct from nlan, 1l0t 
existing simply for the sake of lnan, but also as having rights of 
their own. The heart sacrifices the species to tIle individual, the 
reason sacrifices the individual to the species. The man without 
feeling has no home, no private hearth. Feeling, the heart, is the 
donìestic life; the reason is the res publica of man. Reason is the 
truth of Nature, the heart is the truth of man. To speak 
popularly, reason is the God of Nature, the heart the God of man ;- 
a distinction ha-wever "\vhich, drawn thus sharply, is, like the others, 
only adlnissible in antithesis. Everything which man wishes, but 
which reason, which Nature denies, the heart bestows. God, immor- 
tality, freedom, in the supranaturalistic sense, exist only in the heart. 
The heart is itself the existence of God, the existence of imnlor- 
tality. Satisfy yourselves ,vith this existence! You do not 
understand your heart; therein lies the evil. You desire a real, 
external, objective inlmortality, a God out of yourselves. Here 
is the source of delusion. 
But as the heart releases man from the limits, even the essential 
limits of Nature; reason, on the other hand, releases Nature from 
the limits of external finiteness. It is true that Nature is the light 
and measure of reason ;-a truth which is opposed to abstract 
Idealism. Only what is naturally true is logically true; what has 
no basis in Nature has no basis at all. That which is not a physical 
law is not a metaphysical law. Every true law in metaphysics can 
and must be verified physicaHy. But at the same time reason is 
also the light of Nature ;-and this truth is the barrier against crude 
materialism. Reason is the nature of things come fully to itself, 
re-established in its entireness. Reason divests things of the dis- 
guisesand transformations which they have undergone in the conflict 
a:nd agitation of the external world, and reduces them to their true 
character. l\Iost, indeed nearly all, crystals-to give an obvious 
illustration-appear in nature under a form altogether different 
from their fUllchunental one; nay, Inany crystals never have ap- 
peared in their fundanlental form. N evel'theless, the mineralogical 
reason has discovered that fundamental form. Hence nothing is 
more foolish than to place Nature in opposition to reason, as an 
essence in itself incomprehensible to reason. If reason reduces 
transformations and disguises to their fundalnental forIns, does it 
not effect that which lies in the idea of Nature itself, but which, 
l}rior to the operation of reason, could not be effected on account 
of external hinderances 
 \Vhat else then does reason do than re- 


* See the author's" Leibnitz." 



APPENDIX. 


281 


move external disturbances, influences, and obstructions, so as to 
present a thing as it ought to be, to nlake the existence correRpond 
to the idea; for the fundalllental fonn is the idect of the crystal. 
06-
nother popular example. Granite consists of mica, quartz, and 
feldspar. But frequently other kinds of stone are mingled ,vith it. 
If 'we had no other guide and tutor than the senses, we should 
,vjthout hesitation reckon as constituent parts of granite all the 
kinds of stone ,vhich we ever find in conI bination with it; we 
should say yes to everything the senses told us, and so never conle 
to the true idea of granite. But reason says to the credulous 
senses: Quod non. It discriminates; it distinguiRhes the essential 
fronl the accidental elements. Reason is the midwife of Nature; it 
explains, enlightens, rectifies and completes Nature. N ow that 
,vhich separates the essential from the non-es
ential, the neces- 
sary fronl the accidental, what is proper to a thing fronl what 
is foreign, 'which restores what has been violently sundered to 
unity, and ,vhat has been forcibly united to freedom,-is not this 
divine 
 Is not such an agency as this the agency of the highest, 
of divine love 
 And how 'would it be possible that reason sholùd 
exhibit the pure nature of things, the original text of the universe, 
if it were not itself the purest, most original essence 1 But reason 
has no partiality for this or that species of things. It embraces 
with equal interest the whole universe; it interests itself in all 
things and beings without distinction, without exception ;-it he- 
stows the same attention on the WOrIn which human egoism 
tralnples under its feet, as on man, as on the sun in the firmanlent. 
Reason is thus the all-enlbracing, all-compassionating being, the 
love of the universe to itself. To reason alone belongs the great 
,york of the resurrection and restoration of all things and ùeings- 
universal redemption and reconciliation. Not even the unreason- 
ing aniuIal, the speechless plant, the unsentient stone, shall he 
excluded fronl this universal festival. But how would it be possible 
that reason should interest itself in all beings without exception, if 
reason 'were not itself universal and unlimited in its nature 1 Is a 
lin1Ïted nature compatible with unlimited interest, or an unlÎ1nited 
interest 'with a lin1Ïted nature
 By what dost thou recognise the 
lin1Îtation of a being but by the limitation of his interest 
 As far 
as the interest extends, so far extends the nature. The desire of 
knO"wledge iR infinite; reason then is infinite. Reason is the highest 
species of being ;-hence it includes all species in the sphere of 
knowledge. Reason cannot content itself in the individual; it has 
its adequate existence only 'when it ha
 the species for its object, 
and the species not as it has already developed itself in the past and 
present, but as it will develop itself in the unknown future. In the 
activity of reason I feel a distinction Let,veen myself and reason in 



282 


APPENDIX. 


me; this distinction is the limit of the individuality; in feeling I 
am conscious of no distinction between myself and feeling; and 
with this absence of distinction there is an absence also of the sense 
of lÏ1nitation. lIenee it arises that to so n1any Inen reason appears 
finite, and only feeling infinite. And, in fact, feeling, the heart of 
nlan as a rational being, is as infinite, as universal as reason; since 
man only truly perceives and understands that for which he has 
feeling. 
Thus reason is the essence of Nature and l\lan, released from 
non-essential limits, in their identity; it is the universal being, the 
universal God. The heart, considered in its difference from the 
reason, is the private God of man; the personal God is the heart 
of man, enlancipated from the limits or la,vs of Nature.* . 



 5. 


Nature, the world, ltas no value, no interest for Oli/ristians. Tlte 
Christian tltinks only of ItÏ1nselj, and tlte salvation of his soul. "A te 
incipiat cogitatio tua et in te finiatur, nec frustra in alia distendaris, 
te neglecto. Praeter salutem tuant nihil cogites. De inter. Donw. 
(Among the spurious writings of St. Bernard.) Si te vigilanter 
hOlno attenda.s, mirum est, si ad alind 'ltnquwJ}t intendas.-Divus 
Bernardus. (Tract. de XII grad. hun1Ìl. et sup.)...... Orbe sit sol 
major, an pe\.lis unius latitudine metiatur
 alieno ex lumine an 
propriis luceat fulgoribus luna 
 quae neque scire cornpendium, neque 
ignorare detl'imÆnt'U/ìn est ullun1J....... Res vestra in ancipiti sita est: 
salus dico anÏinaru'ìn vestraru7n.-Arnobius (adv. gentes,!. ii. c. 61). 
Quaero igitur ad quam rem scientia referenda sit; si ad causas 
reru.,m nat'ltrctliurn, quae beatitudo erit mihi proposita, si sciero unde 
Nilus oriatur, vel quicquid de coelo Physici delirant 1-Lactalltius. 
(Instit. dive 1. iii. C. 8.) Etianl curiosi esse prohibemur.......Sunt 
enim qui desertis virtutibus et nescientes quid sit Deus.. ..magnum 
aliquid se agere putant, si uni'l'ersam ista1n corporis moleln, quam 
munduJìt nuncupamus, curiosissime intentissimeque perquirant.... 
Reprimat igitur se anima ab hujusmodi vanae cognitionis cupiditate, 
si se castaln Deo servare disposuit. Tali enim alnore plerulllque 
decipitur, ut (aut) nihil lJutet esse nisi cmjJus.-Augustinus (de 
1fIor. Eccl. cath. 1. i. C. 21). De terrae quoque vel qualitate vel 


... [Here follows in the original a distinction between Herz, or feeling directed 
towards real objects, and therefore practically sympathetic; and Gemiith, or feeling 
directed towards imaginary objects, and therefore practically unsympathetic, self- 
absorbed. But the vC1"ba{ distinction is not adhered to in the ordinary use of the 
language, or, indeed, by Feuerbach himself; and the psychological distinction is 
sufficiently indicated in other parts of the present work. The passage is therefore 
omitted, as likely to confuse the reader. - TR.] 



APPENDIX. 


283 


})ositione tractare, nihil prosit ad spen
 futuri, cum salis s'it ad 
scienti(un, quod script
tr(tntrn divinar1..trn series comprehendit, quod 
Deus suspendit terranl in nihilo.-Ambrosius (IIexaeIneron,1. i. 
c. 6). Longe utique praestantius est, nosse resU'rrect'urarn carnem 
ac sine fine victurarn, qUaIll quid quid in ea 11wdici scrutando discere 
potuerunt.-Augustinus (de Anima et ejus orig. 1. iv. c. 10)." "Let 
natural science alone...... It is enough that thou knowest fire is 
hot, water cold and nloist... ... Know how thou oughtest to treat thy 
field, thy cow, thy house and child-that is enough of natural 
science for thee. Think ho,v thou nlayest learn Christ, who will 
show thee thyself, who thou art, and 'what is thy capability. Thus 
wilt thou learn God and thyself, which no natural master or natural 
science e\Ter taught."-Luther (T. xiii. p. 264). 
Such quotations as these, which might be mtùtiplied indefinitely, 
show clearly enough that true, religious Christianity has within it 
no principle of scientific and nlaterial culture, no motive to it. 

he practical end and object of Christians is solely heaven, i. e., the 
realized salvation of the soul. The theoretical end and object of 
Christians is solely God, as the being identical with the salvation 
of the soul. lIe who knows God knows all things; and as God is 
infinitely more than the world, so theology is infinitely more than 
the knowledge of the world. Theology nlakes happy, for its object 
is personified happiness. Infelix hmno, qui scit illa onUìÙt (created 
things) te aute
n nescit, Be{tt
ts u./nte1n qui te scit, etia'}}
 si illa nesciat. 
-Augustin (Confess.!. v. c. 4). 'Vho then would, who could 
exchange the blessed divine being for the unùlessed worthless 
things of this 'world 7 It is true that God reveals hinlself in 
Nature, but only vaguely, dimly, only in his nlost general attributes; 
hinlself, his true personal nature, he reveals only in religion, in 
Christianity. The knowledge of God through Nature is heathen- 
ism; the knowledge of God through hiInself, through Christ, in 
whom dwelt the fulness of the Godhead bodily, is Christianity. 
"\Vhat interest, therefore, should Chrisiians have in occupying 
thenlselves with material, natural things 1 Occupation with Nature, 
ctùture in general, presupposes or, at least, infallibly produces, a 
heathenish, mundane, anti-theological, anti-supranaturalistic senti- 
ment and belief. Hence the culture of modern Christian nations 
is so little to be derived from Christianity, that it is only to be 
eXplained by the negation of Christianity, a negation which 
certainly was, in the first instance, only practical. It is indeed 
necessary to distinguish between 'what the Christians 'w
re as 
Christians and 'what they were as heathens, as natural men, and 
thus between that which they have said and done in agreenlent, 
and that which they have said and done in contradiction with 
their faith. (See on this subject the author's P. Bayle.) 



2S-t 


APPENDIX. 


HO"w frivolous, therefore, are modern Christians, 'when they deck 
thmllselves in the arts and sciences of modern nations as products 
of Christianity! Ho,v striking is the contrast in this respect 
between these luodern boasters and the Christians of older times! 
The latter knew of no other Christianity than that whIch is con... 
tained in the Christian faith, in faith in Christ; they did not 
reckon the treasures and riches, the arts and sciences of this ,vorld, 
as part of Christianity. In all these points, they rather conceded 
the pre-elninence to the ancient heathens, the Greeks and Romans. 
"\Vhy dost thou not also 'wonder, Erasmus, that fronl the beginning 
of the world thel
e have always been alllong the heathens higher, 
rarer people, of greater, nlore exalted understanding, more excellent 
diligence and skill in all arts, than among Christians or the people 
of God l Christ himself says, that the children of this world are 
wiser than the children of light. Yea, who among the Christians 
could we compare for understanding or application to Cicero (to 
say nothing of the Greeks, Delllosthenes and others)
" -Luther 
(T. xix. p. 37). Quid igitur nos antecelli7J
us? Num ingenio, 
doctl'ina, rrwrun'b 'lnode'J'atione illos 8uperan
us 7 }lequaqua'ln. Sed 
vera Dei agnitione, invocatione et celebr(ttione præsta'lnus.-J.\tlelallc- 
thonis (et al. Declam. T. iii. de vera invocat. Dei). 


9 6. 


In religion man lias in view himself alone, or, in regarding ltim- 
se?! as the object of God, as tlM3 end oftlie divine activity, he is an 
object to kinLSelf, his own mul and airn. The mystery of the Incar- 
nation is the nlystery of the love of God to man, and the mystery 
of the love of God to man is the love of luan to hiInself. God 
suffers-suffers for me-this is the highest self-enjoynlent, the 
highest self-certainty of hUluan feeling. " God so loved the ,vorld, 
that he gave his only begotten Son."-Johniii.16. "If God be for 
us, 'who can be against us 
 He that spared not his o,vn Son, but 
gave hÌ111 up for us all, ho,v shall he not with him also freely give 
us all things 
"-Ronl. vrn. 31, 32. "God commendeth his love 
towards us, in that, 'while we 'were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 
-Ronl. v. 8. " The life which I now live in the flesh I live by 
the faith of t.he Son of God, who loved nle, and gave himself for 
me."-Gal. ii. '20. See also, Titus iii. 4; Heb. ii. 11. "CreclinnlS 
in unum Deum patrenl... . ..et in unum DOlninulll J esum Chri
tunl 
filium Dei...... Deum ex Deo,..... qui propter nos lwnÛnes et propter 
nOl1tram salllte1i
 clescendit et incú,rnatus et homo factus est passus."- 
Fides Nicaenae Synodi. "Servator . . . . .. ex praeexcellenti in lwrni- 
nes cltaritate non despexit carnis luullanae inlbecillitatenl, seù ea 
indutus ad COlllmuneln venit hominum salutelu."-Clemens Alex. 



APPE:KDIX. 


285 


(Stromata,!. vii. Ed. 'Virceb. 1779.) "Christianos autem haec 
universa docent, providentiam esse, maxinw vero divinissimwln et 
propter excellentiam amoris erga lW'fnines incredibili8l:;irrJlu'l}l, provi- 
dentiae opus, dei incarnatio, quae propter nos facta est."-Gregorii 
Nysseni, (Philosophiae, 1. vüi, de provid. c. i. 1512. B. Rhenanus. 
J o. Cono intm-p,) "Venit siquidmll universitatis creat01" et Dominus: 
venit ad lw'mines, venit 1J1'opter ltO'Jnines, venit lwnw."-Divus Ber- 
nardus Clarey. (de adventu Domini. Basil. 1552). "Videte, Fratres, 
quantum se hunliliavit propter homines Deus...... Unde non se ipse 
lwnw despicic(;t, propte ' }' que'lÎ11 utique ista subire dignatus est De
ts."- 
Augustinus (Sermones ad pop. S. 371, c. 3). "0 lWllw propter quen
 
Deus factus est homo, al1"quid magnum te credere debes." (S. 380, c. 
2). "Quis de se desperet, pro quo tan1 humilis esse voluit Filius 
Dei
" ld. (de Agone ChI'. c. 11). "Quis potest odire ltO'lninem, 
cujus natu'r(tn
 et sÍ1nilitudinen
 videt ,in ku./manitate Dei? Reveraqui 
oditillun
, odit Deulì
."-(1\Ianuale, c. 26. Among the spurious writings 
of Augustine,) "Plus nos a''JIzat Deus qu((/}"n filium pater... .. .P'J"opter 
nos filio n01L pepercit. Et quid plus addo? et hoc filio justo et hoc 
filio unigenito et hoc filio Deo. Et quid dici amplius potest 
 et 
hoc pro nobis, i. e. pro malis, etc."-Salvianus (de gubernatione Dei. 
Rittershusius, 1611. pp. 126, 127). "Quid enim mentes nostras tan- 
turn erigit et ab i1ì
'1}wrtalitatis despe'JYttione liberat, quam quod tanti 
nos fecit Deus, ut Dei filius...... dignatus nostrunl inire consortiunl 
nlala nostra moriendo perferret."-Petrus Lomb. (lib. iii. dist. 20, 
c. 1.) "Attamen si iIIa quae miseriam nescit, misericordia non 
praecessisset, ad hanc cujus mater est miseria, non accessisset."-D. 
Bernardus (Tract. de XII gradibus hum. et sup). " Ecce omnia tua 
sunt, quae habeo et unde tibi servio. Verum tamen vice versa tu 
'lnagis 'lnilti sm"vis, quarn ego tibi. Ecce coelum et terra quae in 
ministeriulu hominis creasti, praesto suut et faciunt quotidie quae- 
cunque mandasti. . Et hoc parum est: quin etiam Angelos in mini- 
sterium hOluinis ordinasti. Transcendit autem omnia, quia t1k ipse 
lwmini se'ì'vire dignatus es et te ipsum daturum ei promisisti."- 
Thomas à Kempis (de lmit. 1. iii. c. 10). "Ego omnipotens et 
altissimus, qui cuncta crectvi ex niltilo, me lW'fl
ini propter te l
zl'Jni- 
liter subjeci...... Pepercit tibi oculus meus, quia pretiosa fuit anima 
tua in conspectu meo" (ibid. c. 13). " Fili ego descendi de coelo pro 
salute- tua, suscepi tuas miserias, non necessitate, sed cl/;ctritate 
trahente" (ibid. c. 18). "Si consiliuln rei tantae spectamus, quod 
totum pm'tinet, ut s. litterae demonstrant, ad salutem generis 
humani, quiel potest esse dignius Deo, quam iIIa tanta hujus salutis 
cura, et ut ita dicamus, tantus in ea re sumptus 
,.. ... ltaque Jesus 
Christus ipse CUll1 omnibus A postolis. . . . ,. in hoc mysterio Filü Dei 
Év uupd cþUVEPW!2-Ú 1 TOi; angel is hominibusque patefactanl esse 
dicunt magnitudinem sapientis bonitatis divinae."-J. A. Ernesti 



286 


APPENDIX. 


(Dignit. et verit. inc. Filii Dei aSSE-rta. Opusc. Theo!. Lipsiae, 1773. 
pp. 404, 405. How feeble, hO"w spiritlpss compared with the ex- 
pressions of the ancient faith!) " P'l'opter rne Christus suscepit meas 
infirmitates, mei corporis subiit passiones, pro me peccatum h, e. 
pro oIDni hon1Íne, pro me maledictum factus est, etc. IUe flevit, 
ne tu homo diu Heres. IIle injurias passus est, ne tu injuriam 
tuam doleres."-Ambrosius (de fide ad Gratianum, 1. ii. c. 4-). 
"God is not against us men. For if God had been against us and 
hostile to us, he would not assuredly have taken the poor wretched 
human nature on himself." "IIow highly our Lord God has 
honO"lITed us, that he has caused his own Son to hecome man! I-Io\v 
could he have made himself nearer to us
"-r-Luther (T. xvi. pp. 533, 
574). "It is to be remarked that he (Stephen) is said to have 
seen not God himself but the man Christ, whose nature is the 
dearest and likest and most consoling to man, for a man would 
rather see a llian than an angeloI' any other creature, especially in 
trouble."-Id. (T. xiii. p. 170). " It is not thy kingly rule which 
draws hearts to thee, 0 "\vonderful heart !-but thy having become 
a man in the fulness of titne, and thy "\valk upon the earth, full of 
weariness." " Though thou guidest the sceptre of the starry realm, 
thou art still our brother; flesh and blood never disowns itself." 
"The most powerful charm that melts my heart, is, that my Lord 
died on the cross for 'lìW." "That it is which moves me; I love 
thee for thy love, that thou, the creator, the supreme prince, be- 
camest the Lamb of God for me." "Thanks be to thee, dear Lamb 
of God, with thousands of sinners' tears; thou dirlst die for me on 
the cross and didst seek me with yearning." " Thy blood it is which 
has made me give myself up to thee; else I had never thought of 
thee through my whole life." "If thou hadst not laid hold upon 
me, I should never have gone to seek thee." " 0 ho,v s,veetly the 
soul feeds on the passion of Jesus! Shame and joy are stirred, 0 
thou son of God 3:nd of man, when in spirit we see thee so willingly 
go to death on the cross for us, and each thinks: fm' ?Jw." " The 
Father takes us under his care, the Son "\vashes us with his blood, 
the Holy Spirit is always lahouring that he nlaY guide and teach 
us." "Ah! King, great at all tÏ1nes, but never greater than in the 
blood-stained robe of the martyr." "l\Iy friend is to me and I to 
him as the Cherubim over the mercy-seat: we look at each other con- 
tinually. He seeks repose in my heart, and I ever hasten towards 
l1Ïs: he wishes to be in my soul, and I in the wound in his sitle." 
These quotations are taken from the l\ioravian hymn-book (Gesang- 
buch del' Evangelischen Brüdergell1eine. Gnaclau, 1824). We see 
clearly enough from the exmnples above given, that the deepest 
nlystery of the Christian religion resolves itself into the lllystCry of 
hUnlall self-love, but that religious self-love is distinguished frOlll 



APPENDIX. 


287 


natural in this, that it changes the active into the passive. It is 
true that the more profound, mystical religious sentiment abhors 
such naked, undisguised egoism as is exhibited in the Herrnhut 
hymns; it does not in God expressly have reference to itself; it 
rather forgets, denies itself, demands an unselfish, disinterested love 
of God, contemplates God in relation to God, not to itself. "Causa 
diligendi Deum, Deus est. l\iod us sine Illodo diligere...... Qui 
Domino confitetur, non quoniam sibi bonus est, sed quoniam bonus 
est, hic vere diligit Deum propter Deu'ln et non propter seipsu'fn. 
Te enim quodannllodo perdere, tanquam qui non sis et omnino non 
sentire te ipsum et a temetipso exinaniri et pene annullari, coelestis 
est conversationis, non humanae affectionis" (thus the ideal of love, 
which, however, is first realized in heaven).-Bernhardus, Tract. 
de dilig. Deo (ad Haynlericum). But this free, unselfish love 
is only the culn1Ïnation of religious enthusiaSll1, in which the 
subject is merged in the object. As soon a
 the distinction presents 
itself-and it necessarily does so-so soon does the subject have 
reference to itself as the object of God. And even apart from this: 
the religious subject denies its ego, its personality, only because it 
has the enjoyment of Llissful personality in God-God pel' se tIle 
realized salvation of the soul, God the highest self-contentment, 
the highest rapture of hunlan feeling. Hence the saying: "Qui 
Deum non diligit, seipsum non diligit." 



 7. 


Becau.se God 8vffers, man rnust suffer. The C7
ristian religion is 
the religion of suffering. " Videlicet vestigia Salvatoris scquimur in 
theatris. Tale nobis scilicet Christus reliquit exemplum, quem 
jlevisse legimus, risisse non legÍ1nus."-Salvianus (I. c. 1. vi. 
 181). 
" Christianorum ergo est pressuram pati in hoc saeculo et lugere, 
quorum est aeterna vita."-Origenes (Explan. in Ep. Pauli ad B,oIn. 
1. ii. c. ii. interp. I-lieronymo). " N emo vitam aeternarn, incorrup- 
tibilem, in1mortalen1que desiderat, nisi eUln vitae hujus tenlporalis, 
corruptibilis, mortalisque poeniteat. .. . .. Quid ergo cupÙnus, nisi ita 
non esse ut nu'nc sumus? Et quid inge1ì
iscÙnus, nisi poenitendo, 
quia, ita SU1ì1/ns ?"-Augustinus (Sermones ad pop. S. 351, c. 3). "Si 
quidem aliquid melius et utilius saluti honlinum quam pati fnisset, 
Christus utique verbo et exemplo ostendis
et....... Quoniam per 
multas tribulationes oportet nos intrare in regnum Dei."-Thomas 
à Kempis (de Imit. 1. ii. c. 12). "Then, however, the Christian 
religion is designated as the religion of suffering, this of course 
applies only to the Christianity of the" mistaken" Christians of old 
tinles. Protestantism, in its very beginning, denied the sufferings 
of Christ as conbtituting a principle of morality. It is precisely 



288 


APPENDIX. 


the distinction bebveen Catholicism and Protestantism, in relation 
to this subject, that the latter, out of self-regard, attached itself 
only to the merits of Christ, ,vhile the former, out of sympathy, 
attached itself to his sufferings. "Fornlerly, in popery, the suffer- 
ings of the Lord were so preached, that it was only pointed out 
how his exanlple should be imitated. After that, the time was 
filled up with the sufferings and sorrows of Mary, and the conlpas- 
sion ,vith which Christ and his mother ,vere bewailed; and the 
only aim was how to nlake it piteous, and move the people to com- 
passion and tears, and he ,vho could do this well ,vas held the best 
preacher for Passion-week. But we preach the Lord's sufferings 
as the Holy Scripture teaches us...... Christ suffered for the praise 
and glory of God... ... but to me, and thee, and all of us, he suffered 
in order to bring redemption and blessedness...... The cause and 
end of the sufferings of Christ is comprised in this-he suffered for 
us. This honour is to be given to no other suffering."-Luther (T. 
xvi. p. 182). " Lalnb I I ,veep only for joy over thy suffering; 
the suffering was thine, but thy merit is nline I" " I know of no 
joys but those which come frOln thy sufferings." "It remains ever 
in my mind that it cost thee thy blood to redeem me." " 0 my 
Immanuel I how sweet is it to nlY soul when thou permittest me to 
enjoy the outpouring of thy blood." "Sinners are glad at heart 
that they have a Saviour..... .it is wondrously beautiful to them to 
see Jesus on the Cross" (1\Ioravian hynul-ùook). It is therefore 
not to be wonclered at, if Christians of the present day decline to 
kno'v anything more of the sufferings of Christ. It is they, for- 
sooth, who have first made out what true Christianity is-they rely 
solely on the divine word of the Holy Scriptures. And the Bible, 
as everyone knows, has the valuable quality, that everything may 
be found in it which it is desired to find. \Vhat once stbod there, 
of course now stands there no longer. The principle of stability 
has long vanished from the Bible. Divine revelation is as changing 
as human opinion. Tunpora n
utantur. 



 8. 


The mystery of tlte Trinity is tlte 'lnystery of lJCtrticipated, social 
life-the 'lnystel'y of I and thou. " U n"llln Deum esse confitennlr. 
N on sic unum Deum, quasi solitariu'ln, nec eundem, qui ipse sibi 
pater, sit ipse filius, sed patrern ver'll/Jn, qui genuit filiu'ln veru'l)
, 
i. e. Deum ex Deo... .. .non creatum, sed genit111n."-Concil. Chalced. 
(Carranza Sun1ma 1559. p. 139). "Si quis quod scriptum est: 
Faciarnus hominem, non patrem ad filiuln dicere, sed ipsurn ad 
semetipsurn asserit dixisse Deunl, anathema sit,"-Concil. Syrmiense 
(ibid. p. 68). " J ubet autcIll his vcrLis: FacÙ(/Jnus 7wlJâne'lJ
, prodeat 



APPEXDIX. 


289 


herba. Ex quibus apparet, Deunl cum ldiquo sibi p1'oxÙno 
serTnones his de rebus conserere. N ecesse est igitur aliqueln ei 
adfllisse, C'l(/Jn quo ulliversa con dens, colloquilun 
miscebat."-Athana- 
sins (Contra Gentes Orat. Ath. Opp. Parisiis, 1627. T. i. p. 51). 
"Professio eninl cons01,tii snstnlit intelligentiam singularitatis, quod 
consortÏtnIl aliquid nec potest e:s::)e sib.i ip::;i solitario, neq ue rurSUlll 
solitudo solitarii recipit: facialllus. .. . . . N on solitario convellit 
dicere: .facianuls et ìW8tJ'(tn
."-Petrus LOlllh. (1. i. dist. 2, c. 3, e.) 
The Protestants explain the passage in the sanle way. "Quod pro- 
fecto aliter intelligi nequit, quam inter ipsas t'J'Ù
itatis personas quan- 
dam de crean do homine institutanl fuisse cOnsultationen
."-Buddeu8 
(Conlp. In:st. Theol, dog. cur. J. G. \Valch. 1. ii. c. i. 
 43). 
'" Let us make' is the ,vord of a deliberative council. And fronl 
these worcl
 it necessarily follo,vs again, that in the Godhead there 
must be more than one person...... For the little word 'us' indi- 
cates that he ,vho there speaks is not alone, though the Jews Inake 
the text ridiculous Ly saying that there is a ,vay of speaking thus, 
even where there is only one person."-Luther (T. i. p. 19). Not 
only consultations, but conlpacts take place bet,veen the chief 
persons in the Trinity, precisely as in hlllnan society. "Nihil aliud 
superest, quanl ut COllsensum quemdam patris ac filii adeoque 
quoddaln velut pactum (in relation, namely, to the redelnption of 
men) inde concludall1us."-Buddeus (Comp. 1. iv. c. i. 
 4. Note 
2). And as the essential bond of the Divine Persons is love, the 
Trinity is the heavenly type of the closest bond of love-nlarriage. 
" Nunc Filiunl Dei... . . ,preceInur, ut spiritu sancto suo, qui lleXU8 
est et vincululll nnltui anI oris inter aeternum patrenl ac filium, 
sponsi et sponsæ pectora conglutinet."-Or. de Conjugio (Decianl. 

Ielancth, T. iii. p. 453). 
The distinctions in t/w Divine essence of tlw Trinity arre natul'al, 
ph!Jsical distinctiuns. " Jam de proprietatibus personarum videaIllU
 
. . . , . . Et est pro]xJ"iun
 soli.us plttris, non quod non est llatus ipse, 
sed quod 'llnUlnfiliurn
 genue1'it, propriun1que solius filii, non quod 
ipse non genuit, sed quod de pnti"is essentia natu8 est."-Hylarius 
in 1. iii. de trinitate. " Nos filii Dei sunlUS, sed non talis hie 
filius. Hic enim Ver'll8 et proprius est filius origine, non adoptione, 
veritate, non nuncupatione, nativitate, non creatione."-Petrus L. 
(1. i. dist. 26, cc. 2, 4). "Quodsi dUIll eum aeternUln confitemur, 
profitenlur ipsum Filium ex Patre, quonlodo is, qui genitus est, 
gellitoris fJ"ltter esse poterit1...... Non enÜn ex aliquo principio 
praeexistente Pater et Filius procreati sunt, ut fratres existimari 
queant, seò. Pater principium Filii et genitor est: et Pater Pater 
est neque ullius Filius fuit, et Filius Filius est et non frctter."- 
Athanasius (Contra Arianos. Orat. II. Ed, c. T. i. p. 320). "Qui 
(Deus) cum in rebus quae nascuntur in tempore, 
ma bonitate 
o 



2{)O 


APPENDIX. 


effecerit, ut suae s'll.:bstantiae prole1n quaelibet res gignat, sicut homo 
gignit lW7J-ânen
, non alterius naturae, sed ejus cujus ipse est, vide 
quarì
 impie dicat'lNJ' ipse 'JWn genuisse id quod ipse est."-Augustinus 
(Ep. 170, 
 6. Ed. Antw. 1700). "Ut igitur in natura lwminu1n 
filiunl dicimus genitunl de substantia patris, sÏ1nilem patri: ita 
secunda persona Filius dicitur, quia de substantia Patris natus e
t 
et ejus est imago." l\lelancthon (Loci praecipui Theol. vVite- 
bergae, 1595. p. 30). "As a corporeal son has his flesh and blood 
and nature from his father, so also the Son of God, born of the 
Father, has his divine nature fronl the Father of Eternity." 
Luther (T. ix. p. 408). H. A. Roel, a theologian of the school of 
Descartes and Coccejus, had advanced this thesis: "Filium Dei, 
Secundalll Deitatis personam Ï1np'ì'opl'ie dici genitanl." This was 
imnlediately opposed by his colleague, Camp. Vitringa, who de- 
clared it an unheard of thesis, and Inaintailled: "Generationenl 
Filii Dei ab aeterno propriissÙne enunciari." Other theologians 
also contended against Roel, anù declared: "Generationenl in Deo 
esse nutxime Veralll et proprianl." (Acta Erudit. Supplem. T. i. S. 
vii. p, 377 etc.) That in the Bible also the Filius Dei signifies 
a real son, is unequivocally inIplied in this passage: "God so loved 
the "world that he gave his only-begotten Son." If the love of God, 
which this passage insists upon is to be regarded as a truth, then the 
Son also must be a truth, and, in plain language, a physical truth. 
On this lies the emphasis, that God gave his own Son for us-in 
this alone the proof of his great love. Hence the Herrnhut hymn- 
book correctly apprehends the sense of the Bible ,vhen it says of 
"the .Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is also our Father:" 
"His Son is not too dear. No! he gives hirn up for me, that he 
may save me frOln the eternal fire by his dear blood. Thou hast 
so loved the world, that thy heart consents to give up the Son, thy 
joy and life, to suffering and death." 


God is a threefold being, a trinity of persons, means: God is not 
only a metaphysical, abstract, spiritual, but a physical being. The 
central point of the Trinity is the Son, for the Father is Father only 
through the Son; but the mystery of the generation of the Son is 
the lllystery of physical nature. - The Son is the
eed of sensuous- 
ness, or of the heart, satisfied in God; for all ,,-ishes of the heart, 
even the wish for a personal God and for heavenly felicity, are 
sensuous wishes j-the heart is essentially materialistic, it con- 
tents itself only with an ohject ,vhich is seen anù felt. This is 
especially evident in the conception that the Son, even in the n1Ïdst 
of the Divine Trinity, has the human body as an essential, per- 
manent attribute. AnIbrosius:" Scriptum est Ephes. i.: SeCUn(hUll 
carnelll igitur omnia ipsi subjecta traduntur." Chrysostomus: 



APPENDIX. 


291 


"ChristuIll secundunl carnenl pater jussit a cunctis angelis adorari." 
Theodoretus : "Corpus Don1ÏnicuIll surrexit quidem a mortuis, 
divina glorificata gloria..... ,corpus taIllen est et habet, quam prius 
habuit, circumscriptioneIll." (See Concorclienbuchs-anhang. "Zeug- 
nisse del' h. Schrift unù Altväter von Christo," and Petrus L. 1. iii. 
dist.1 0, cc. 1,2. See also on this subject Luther, T. xix. pp. 464:-468.) 
In accordance ,vith this the United Brethren say: " I will ever em- 
brace thee in love and faith, until, when at length Iny lips are pale 
in death, I shall see thee bodily." " Thy eyes, thy Illouth, the hody 
wounded for us, on which ,ve so firmlyrely,-all that I shall behold." 
Hence the Son of God is the darling of the human heart, the 
bridegroom of the soul, the object of a formal, personal love. "0 
Don1Ïne J esu, si adeo sunt dulces istae laclt'ì''!Jlnae, quae ex 'Jìw'Jìwrict 
et desiderrio tui excitantur, quam dulce erit gaudium, quod ex 
'f)w/nifesta tui visione capietur1 Si adeo dulce estjle'ì'e pro te, qUaIll 
dulce erit gWllderJ'e de te. Sed quid hujusnlodi secreta colloquia 
proferinlus in publicunl1 Cur ineffabiles et innarrabiles affectus 
communibus verbis conamur exprimere? Inexpel.ti talia non in- 
telligunt. Zelotypus est sponsus iste..... . Delicatus est sponsus iste." 
-Scala Clallstralium (sive de modo orandi. Among the spurious 
,vritings of St. Bernard). "Luge propter arllorenl J esu Christi, sponsi 
tui, quosque eum videre possis." (De modo bene vivendi. Sermo 
x. id,) " Adspectulì'b Clu'isti, qui adhuc inadspectabilis et absens 
amOreIll nostrum meruit et exercuit, frequentius scripturae com- 
memo rant. J oh. xiv. 3. 1 J oh. iü, 1. 1 Pet. i. 8. 1 Thess. iv. 17. 
Ac quis non jucundum credat videre corpus illud, cujus velut in- 
strumento usus est filius Dei ad expianda peccata, et absenteIn 
tandenl aTnicu'Jì
 salutare1" Doederlein (Inst. Theol. ChI'. 1. ii. P. 
ii. C. ii. Sect. ii. 
 302. Obs. 3). "Quod oc'ulis corporis Christum 
visuri simns, dubio caret." J. Fr. Budcleus (Comp. lnst. Theol. 
Dogm. 1. ii. c. iii. 
 10). 
The distinction between God witl" the Son, or the sensuous 
God, and God without the Son, or God divested of sensuousness, 
is nothing further than the distinction between the mystical and 
the rationallllan. The rational luan lives and tltinks
' with hin1 
life is the complement of thoug
t, and thought the complement 
of life, both theoretically, inasllnlCh as he convinces himself of 
the reality of sensuousness through the reason itself, and practi- 
cally, inasmuch as he cOlnbines activity of life with activity of 
thought. That which I have in life, I do not need to posit beyond 
life, in spirit, in metaphysical existence, in God; love, friendship, 
perception, the ,vorlel in general, give me ,vhat thought does not, 
cannot give me, nor ought to give me. Therefore I dislniss the 
need::; orthe heart frOlll the sphere of thought, that reason may not 
be clouded by desires j-in the demarcation of activities consists the 
02 



292 


APPENDIX. 


,visdOln of life and thought ;-1 do not need a God who supplies by 
a lllystical, inlaginary physicalness or sensuousness the absence of 
the real. My heart is satisfied, before I enter into intellectual 
activity; hence my thought is cold, indifferent, abstract, i. e., free, 
in relation to the heart, which oversteps its liInits, and improperly 
mixe:s itself with the affairs of the reason. Thus, I do not think 
in orller to satisfy my heart, but to satisfy my reason, which is not 
satisfied by the heart; I think only in the interest of reason, fronl 
pure desire of kno,vledge, I seek in God only the contentment of 
the pure, unulixed intelligence. Necessarily, therefore, the God of 
the rational thinker is another than the God of the heart, ,vhich in 
thought, in reason, only seeks its o'Vll satisfaction. And this is the 
ainl of the mystic, who cannot endure the luminous fire of dis- 
criminating and liIniting criticism; for his mind is always beclouded 
by the vapours ,vhich rise fr01n the unextinguished ardour of his 
feelings. He never attains to abstract, i. e" disinterested, free 
thought, and for that rea
on he never attains to the perception of 
things in their naturalness, truth, and reality. 
One nlore remark concerning the Trinity. The older theologians 
said, that the essential attributes of God as God were Jnade manifest 
by the light of natural reason. But ho,v is it that reason can know 
the Divine Being, unless it be becau
e the divine being is nothing 
else than the ohjective nature of the intelligence itself 1 Of the 
Trinity, on the other hand, they said that it could only be kno,vn 
through revelation. vVhy not through reason 1 Because it con- 
tradicts reason, i. e., because it does not express a want of the 
reason, but a sensuous, Clllotional want. In general, the proposition 
that an idea springs from revelation means no nlore than that it 
has COllle to us by the way of tradition. The doglnas of religion 
have arisen at certain times out of definite wants, under definite 
relations and conceptions; for this reason, to the men of a later 
tÌIne, in which the
e relations, ,vants, conceptions, have disappeared, 
they are sonlething unintelligible, incomprehensible, only tradi- 
tional, i. e, revealed. The antithesis of revelation and reason 
reduces itself only to the antithesis of history and reason, only to 
this, that mankind at a given tinle is no longer capable of that 
,vhich at another time it was quite capable of; just as the indiyiùual 
nlan does not unfold his powers at all times indifferently, but only 
in nlOlllents of special appeal fronl without or incitement froni 
witl1Ïn. Thus the ,yorks of genius arise only under altogether 
special ilnvard and outward conditions which cannot thus coincide 
nlore than once; they are (br({
 ÀEyÓflEva, "Einlllal ist alles wahre 
nur." The true is born but once. Hence a rnan'R own ,yorks often 
appear to him in later years quite strange and incomprehensible. 
lIe no longer knows how he produced thelll or could produce thenl, 



APPENDIX. 


293 


i. e., lIe can no longer explain thenl out of hilnself, still less repro- 
duce theIne And just as it would be folly if, in riper years, because 
the productions of our youth have becOllle strange and inexplicable 
to us in their tenour and origin, "we ,vere to refer theIll to a special 
int;piration from above; so it is folly, because the doctrines and 
ideas of a past age are no longer recognised by the reason of a sub- 
sequent age, to clainl for thelll a supra- and extrahlUllau, i. e., an 
imaginary, illusory origin. 



 9. 
The creal'ion out 0./ notltin[/ expresses tile non-divineness, non- 
essentiality, i. e., tlte nothingness of tlte 'wo'rld. 
That is created which once did not exist, which SOUle time will 
exist no longer, to which, therefore, it is possible not to exist, which 
'we can think of as not existing, in a v.rord, ,vhich has not its 
existence in itself, is not necessary. "Cum enim res producantnr 
ex suo non-esse, possunt ergo absolute non-esse, adeoque implicat, 
quod non sunt necessariæ."-Duns Scotus (ap. Rixner, B. ii. p. 78). 
But only necessary existence is exiRtence. If I anl not necessary, 
do not feel nlyself necessary, I feel that it is all one ,vhether I 
exist or not, that thus nlY existence is worthless, nothing. " I anl 
nothing," and "I am not necessary," is fundamentally the same 
thing. "Creatio non est motus, sed simplicis divinæ voluntatis 
vocatio ad esse eorum, quae antea nihil fuer'unt et secundu'Jn se ipsa 
et nihil S'llnt et ex uiltilo sunt."-Albertus 1\'1. (de mirab. scient. 
Dei P. ii, Tr, i. Qu. 4, Art. 5, memL. ii.) TIut the position that 
the 'world is not necessary, has no other bearing than to prove that 
the extra, and supramundane being (i. e" in fact, the human being) 
is the only necessary, only real being. Since the one is non- 
essential and telllporal, the other is necessarily the e
sential, 
existent, eternal. The Creation is the proof that God is, that 
he is exclusively true and real. "Sanctus DOluinus Deus Olnuipo- 
tens in principio, quod est in te, in sapicntia tun, quae nata est de 
substantia tua, fecisti aliquicl et de nihilo. Fecisti enÍ1n coelunl et 
terram non de te, nam esset aequale unigenito tuo, ac per hoc et 
tibi, et nullo nwdo iU8tU/J
 esset, ut aequale tibi esset, quod in te non 
esset. Et aliud praeter te non erat, unde faceres ea Deus...... Et 
ideo de nihilo fecisti coelum et terram,"-Augustinus (Confessionunl 
1. xii. C. 7). "Vere enÍ1n ipse est, quia incoJìunutabilis est. Olnnis 
enim nlutatio facit non esse quod erat,.. . .. Ei ergo qui summe est, 
non potest esse cont1'a1'iun
 nisi quod non est.-Si so]us ipse in com- 
lllutabilis, omnia quae fecit, quia ex niltilo iet est ex eo quod o'Thnino 
non est-fecit,mutabilia sunt."-Augustin(de nat. boni adv.l\Ianich. 
cc. 1, 19), "Creatura in nullo debet parificari Deo, si autenl non 
habuis
et ,initÜun dtll.(ttionis et esse, in hoc parifiCU1'etuJ' Deo."- 



2U1 


APPE
DIX. 


(Albertus 1\1. 1. c. Quaest. incidens l).-The positive, the essential 
in the world is not that \vhich nlakes it a \vodel, \vhich distinguishes 
it frOlll God-this is precisely its finiteness and nothingness-but 
ratJlf'r that in it \vhich is not itself, \vhich is God. "All creatures 
are a pure nothing...... they have no essential existence, for their 
existence hangs on the presence of God. If God turned himself 
a\vay a InOnleut, they wOlùd fall to nothing."-(Predigten VOl'. u. 
zu. Tauleri Zeiten, ed, c. p. 29. See also Augustine, e. g. Confess. 
1. vii. c. 11). This is quite correctly said frOln the stand-point of 
religion, for God is the principle of existence, the being of the 
world, though he is represented as a personal Being distinct from 
the world. The world lasts so long as God win:s. The world is 
transient, but man eternal. "Qtlctnuliz.t vult, olnnia ejus virtute 
nlanent atque consistunt, etflnis eorum in Dei volltntateJn recurrit, 
et ejus arbil1'io resolvuntur."-Ambrosius (Hexaemeron. 1. i. c. 5). 
"Spiritus enilll a Deo creati nunquam esse desinunt,..... Corpora 
caelestia tam diu conservantur, quamdiu Deus ea vult pern
ane'J'e," 
-Buddeus (COlnp. 1. ii. c. ii. 
 47). "The dear God does not 
alone create, but what he creates he keeps with his o\vn being, 
until he \vilb that it shall be no longer. For the time \vill COlue 
\vhen the sun, 11100n, and stars shall be no more."-Luther (T. ix. 
s. 418). "The end will come sooner than we think."-Id. (T. xi. 
s. 536). By means of the creation out of nothing man gives 
himself the certainty, that the world is nothing, is powerless against 
man. " We have a Lord who is greater than the whole world; we 
have a Lord so po\verful, that \vhen he only speaks all things are 
born, .. 
 . . "\Vherefore should \ve fear, since he is favourable to us 
" 
-Id. (T. vi. p. 
!)3). Identical with the belief in the creation 
out of nothing is the belief in the eternal life of man, in the victory 
over death, the last constraint which nature inlposes on ulan-in 
the resurrection of the dead. "Six thousand years ago the world 
was nothing; and who has made the \yorld 1. . . . . . The SaIne God 
and Creator can also awake thee from the dead; he will do it, and 
can do it."-Id. (T. xi. p. 426. See also 421, &c,) ""\V e 
Christians are greater and more than all creatures, not in or by 
ourselves, but through the gift of God in Christ, against w-hom the 
world is nothing, and can do nothing."-Id. (T. xi. p. 377). 



 10. 


The Oreation in tlte Isrctelitish 'J'el
fJion has only a particular, 
egoistic aÙn and )J1D1JO'J't. The Israelitish 'J'eligion is tlte J'el1.'gion of 
tlte 'in08t naJ'row-ltectrted egoisfJ
. Even the later Israelites, scat
 
tered throughout the \vorId, persecuted and oppressed, adhered 
.with ilnmovable firmness to the egoistic faith of their forefictthers. 



APPENDIX. 


29:> 


"Every Israelitish soul by itself is, in the eyes of the blessed God, 
dearer and lllore pl'eciou
 than all the souls of a whole natiun 
besides." "The Israelites are among the nations what the heart is 
among the members." "The end in the creation of the ,vodd was 
I
rael alone. The ,vorId was created for the sake of the Israelites; 
they are the fruit, other nations are their husks." "All the 
heathens are nothing for him (God); but for the Israelites God has 
a use...... They adore and bless the nanle of the holy and Lle::)
ed 
God every day, therefore they are numbered every hour, and 11lade 
as (numerous as) the grains of corn." " If the Israelites were not, 
there would fall no rain on the ,yodel, and the sun would not rise 
but for their sakes." "He (God) is our kinsman, and ,ve are his 
kindred,.....N 0 power or angel is akin to us, for the Lord's portion 
is his people" (Deut. xxxii. 9). "He who rises up against an 
Israelite (to injure him), does the sanle thing as if he rose up 
against God." "If anyone smite an Israelite on the cheek, it is 
the same as if he smote the cheek of the divine majesty."-Eisen- 
In engel's (Entclecktes J udenthum, T. i. Rap. 14). The Christians 
blalned the J eW
 for this arrogance, but only because the kingdom 
of God was taken frolll them and transferred to the Christians. 
Accordingly, ,ve find the sanle thoughts and sentilnents in the 
Christians as in the Israelites. "Know that God so takes thee 
unto himself that thy enemies are his enemies."-Luther (T. vi. 
p. 99). "It is the Christians for whose sake God spares the whole 
'vorlel...... The Father nlakes his sun to rise on the evil and on the 
good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Yet this 
happens only for the sake of the pious and thankful." (T. xvi. 
p. 506.) "He who despises me, despises God." (T. xi. p. 538.) 
" God suffers, and is despised and persecuted, in us." (T. iv. p. .577.) 
Such declarations a
 these are, I should think, argumwnta ad lWfnineub 
for the identity of God and man. 



 11. 


The. idea of Providence is tlte 1J'eligions consciou'sness of 1Jnan's dis- 
tinction .from, tlte hI' utes, fromJ .....V(tt'U/J'e in generaL "Doth God take 
care for oxen1" (1 Cor. ix. 9.) "Nunquid curae est Deo bobus
 
inquit Paulus. Ad nos ea cura dirigitur, non ad ho.ves, equ'os, asinos, 
qui in U8urnnostrumsunt conditi."-J. L. Vivis Val. (de VeritateFidei 
chI'. Bas. 154:4, p. 108). "Providel1tia Dei in omnibus alii
 creaturis 
respicit adlwrninem tanqualn (ul mætctJn Slut/n. Multis passeriLus vos 
pluri
 estis. JHatth. x. 31. Propter peccatuìì
 h01ninis natura, subjecta 
est vanitati. Rmn. viii. 20."-]\1. Chemnitii (Loci theol. Francof. 
1608, P. i. p, 312). "Nunquidenim cura est Deo de bobus7 Etsicut 
non est cura Deo ùe boLus, ita nec ùe aliis irrationalibus. Dicit tanwn 



2Ðß 


APPEXDIX. 


script
l'7'a (Sa.pient. vi.) quia ipsi cura est de onlnibus. Providentianl 
ergo et curarn universaliter de cunctis, quae condidit, habet"... ,Sed 
specinleTn providentiamatque CUralll habet de rationalibus."-Petru
 
L. (1. i. dist. 39, c. 3). Here we have again an example how Chris- 
tian sophistry is a product of Christian faith, especially of faith in 
the Bible as the word of God. First we read that God cares not 
for oxen; then that God cares for everything, and therefore 
for oxen. That is a contradiction; but the word of God must not 
contradict itself. How does faith escape from this contradiction1 
By distinguishing between a general and a special providence. But 
genm'al providence is illusory, is in truth no providence. Only 
special providence is providence in the sense of religion. 
General providence-the providence which extends itself equally 
to irrational ana rational beings, which makes no distinction be- 
t"ween nlan and the lilies of the field or the. fowls of the air, is 
nothing else than the idea of Nature-an idea ,vhich luan 111ay 
have without religion. The religious consciousness admits this 
"\vhen it says: he ,vho denies providence abolishes religion, places 
man on a level with the brutes ;-thus declaring that the provi- 
dence in which the brutes have a share is in truth no providence. 
Providence part,akes of the character of its object; hence the pro- 
vidence which has plants and anÍlllals for its object is in accordance 
"\vith the qualities and relations of plants and aniuwls. Providence 
is nothing else than the inward nature of a thing; this inward 
nature is its genius, its guardian spirit-the necessity-of its exist- 
ence. The higher, the nlore precious a being is,-the n10re ground 
of existence it has, the more necessary it is, the less is it open to 
annihilation. Every being iR necessary only through that by which 
it is distinguished tì'OlU other beings; its specific difference is the 
ground of its existence, So luan is necessary only through that by 
which he is distinguished fi'om the brutes; hence providence is 
nothing else than luan's consciousness of the necessity of his exist- 
ence, of the distinction between his nature and that of other beings; 
consequently, that alone is the true provi(lence in which this specific 
difference of luau becOlnes an ohject to hÏln. But this providence 
is special, i. e., the providence of love, for only love interests itself 
in what is special to a being, Providence without love is a con- 
ception without basis, ,vithout reality. The truth of providence i
 
love. God lovee;; men, not brutes, not plants; for only for man's 
sake does he perform extraordinary deeds, deeds of 10ve-nlÌracles. 
\Vhere there is no conllnnnity, there is 110 love. But what bond 
can be supposed to unite brutes, or natural things in general, with 
God 1 God does not recognise himself in th8111; for they do not 
recognise him ;-where I find nothing of myself, how can I love 1 
"God who thus promises, does not speak \vith asses and oxen, as 



APPEXDIX. 


207 


Paul says: Doth God take care for oxen? but with rational crca- 
tureb m
ade in his likenesR, that they nlay live for ever with hÍ1n." 
Luther (T. ii. s. J..36.) God is first with hinlself in nlan; in man 
first begins religion, providence; for the latter is not smnething 
different ii'mll the fonner, on the contrary, religion is itRelf the 
proyidence of luau. He who loses religion, i. e., faith in himself, 
f
tÍth in nlan, in the infinite significance of his being, in the neces- 
sity of his existence, loses providence. He alone is forsaken who 
forsakes himself; he alone is lost, who despairs; he alone i
 'without 
God who is without faith, i. e., without courage. "'Therein does 
religion place the true proof of providence? in the phenOlnena of 
Nature, as they are objects to us out of religion,-in astronomy, in 
physics, in natural history? No! In those appearances which are 
objects of religion, of faith only, which express only the faith of 
religion in itself, i. e., in the truth and reality of nlan,-in the reli- 
gious events, means, and institutions which God has ordained exclu- 
sively for the salvation of man, in a word, in miracles; for the llleans 
of grace, the sacraments, belong to the class of providential nlÍracles. 
"QuanlqUaIn autem haecconsideratio universae natl1raenos admonet 
de Deo,.,... talllen nos referanlus initio mentem et oculos ad olltnia 
testimonia, in quibflts se Deus eccles'iae JJatefecit ad eductione1n ex 
Aegypto, ad vocenL sonante1ìL in Sinai, ad C11/J'istu1ìL resllscit(tnte'in 
fJìwrtuus et resuscitatu'ln, etc.,... ,Ideo senlper defixae 
int nlentes in 
lWfntnL testinwniorwln cogit(úionem et his cO'J1ji f rmatae articnlum de 
Crecttione meditentur, deindeconsiderent etiam vestigia Dei Í1npressae 
naturae." l\Ielancthon (Loci de Creat. p. 62, ed. cit,). "l\Iirentur 
alii creationem, milâ rn(tyis libet mirari redempt1.
onern. l\Iira bile est, 
quod caro nostra et ossa nostra a Deo nobis sunt fornlata, ntl lYtbilius 
adhuc est, quod ipse Deus c(tro de carne nostra et os de ossibuR 
nostris fieri voluit,"-J. Gerhard (l\Ied. s. 1\1. 15).-" The heathens 
know God no further than that he is a Creator."-Luther (T. ii. 
p. 327). That providence has only nlan for its essential object, 
is evident tì'onl this, that to religious faith all things and 
beings are created for the sake of man. " "or e are lords not only of 
birds, but of all living creatures, and all things are given for our 
service, and are created only for our sake."-Lnther (T. ix. p. 281). 
But if things are created only for the sake of man, they are also 
preserved only for the sake of Inan. And if things are In ere instru- 
nlents of man, they stand under the protection of no law, they are, 
in relation to Inan, witlw
tt rrigltts. This outlawing of things explains 
miracle. 
Tlw negation of providence is the negation of God. "Qui ergo pro- 
videntiam toll it, totanl Dci su1stantiam tollit et quid dicit nisi 
Deunì non esse 1 ...... Si non curat hUInana, sive nesciens, ces:-mt 
onlllÍs causa pietatis, cum sit spes null(t sCtl'Utis."-J oa. Trithen1Íns 
03 



298 


APPENDIX. 


(Tract. de Provid. Dei). " N am qui nihil aspici a Deo affirll1ant 
prope est ut cui adspectunl adilnullt, etiam substantiaIn tollant.' 
Salvianus (1. c. 1. iv.). "Aristotle alnlost falls into the opinion that 
God-though he does not expressly nanle Hiln a fool-is such a one 
that he knows nothing of our affairs, nothing of our designs, under- 
stands, sees, regards nothing but himself. ..,... But what iF: such a 
God or Lord to us 
 of what use is he to us?" Luther (in vValch's 
Philos. Lexikon, art. V orsehung). Providence is therefore the 
most undeniable, striking proof, that in religion, in the nature of 
God himself, man is occupied only with himself, that the Inysteryof 
theology is anthropology, that the substance, the content of the in- 
finite being, is the "finite" being. "God sees men," Ineans: in God 
man sees only himself; "God cares for man," means: a God who is 
not active is no real God. But there is no activity without an 
object: it is the object which first converts activity from a mere 
power into real activity. This object is ma.n. If nlan did not exist, 
God would have no cause for activity. Thus lllan is the motive 
principle, the soul of God. A God who does not see and hear Inan, 
who has not man in ltÍ'/ttseif, is blind and deaf, i. e., inert, empty, 
unsubstantial. Thus the fulness of the divine nature is the fulness 
of the human; thus the Godlwad of God is ItU1ìl.allity. Ilo'1' 'Jny- 
self, is the cOlnfortless mystery of epicureanism, stoicisnl, pantheislll ; 
God fm' 'lne, this is the consolatory lllystery of religion, of Christi- 
anity. Is man for God's sake, or God for man's'l It is true that 
in r
ligion man exists for God's sake, but only because God exi
ts 
for man's sake. I am for God, because God is for nle. 
prrovidence is identical witlb miraculous power, supernaturalistic 
freed01n from .Þl ature, tlte d01ninion of arbitrariness over law. 
"Etsi (sc. Deus) sustentat naturanl, tamen contra o'J'dinem jussit 
aliquando Solelll regredi etc. ...... U t igitlu' invocatio vere fieri 
possit, cogitemus Deuln sic adesse suo opificio, non, ut Stoici fingunt, 
olligat?J/Jn seC'i.1./J1dis causis, sed sustentantem naturam et nlulta suo 
liberri'lilo consilio llloderantem. ...... !Iulta facit prima causa praeter 
secundas, quia est agens liberwrn." l\Ielancthon (Loci de Causâ 
Peccati, pp. 82, 83, ed. cit.) "Scriptura vero tradit, Deum 
in actione providentiae esse agens liberu'J}
, qui ut plurinulnl 
quidenl ordine]ll sui operis servet, illi tamen ordini non s,it allig(ttus, 
sed 1) quicquid facit per causas secundas, illud possit etimll sine 
illis per se solunl facere 2) quod ex causis seculldis possit aliurn 
ejfectu'In producere, quam ipsarum dispositio et natura ferat 3) quod 
positis cansis secundis in actu, Deus tmnen ejfect'U./fiL possit Ùnpedire, 
'lnutare, mitigare, exasperare. ...... Non igitur est connexio causa- 
rum Stoica in actionibus providentiae Dei."-1\I. Chmnnitius (1. c. pp. 
316, 317). "Liberrirnw Deus irmperat naturae-Nnturmu saluti 
hOlllinulll attelllperat propter Eccle
ianl. ...... OllUlÌllO tribuendus 



APPENDIX. 


299 


est Deo hic hanas, quod possit et velit opitulari nobis, etiall1 CHIn a 
tot a natura destitui111ur, conf1Yt seriem omnium secundarnll1 causa- 
rUllI. ...... Et nndta accidunt plurÏ1nis hOlllinibus, in quibus mirandi 
eventus fateri eo::; cogunt, se aDeo sinecausis secundis servatosesse."- 
C. Peucerus (de Praecipe Divinat. gen. Servestae, I.3D1,}J. 44). "I11e 
tmnen qui olllnium est conditor, nullis instrlunentis indiget. N aIn. 
si id continuo fit, quicquid ipse vult, velIe ill ius erit author atque 
instrunlentum; nec magis ad haec regenda astris indiget, quan1 cum 
Into aperuit oculos coeci, sicut refert historia Evangelica. LutUIll 
enÏ1n lllagis videbatur obturaturun1 oculos, quam aperturum. Sed 
ipse ostendere nobis voluit OlnlWln natltranL esse siúi inst'l'u/Jtentul1'b 
(tel quidvis, qu(tntunLcunque ctlien'LtnL,"-J. L. Vives (1. c, 102). 
"Ho,v is this to be reconciled? The air gives food and nourishnlent, 
and here stones or rocks flow with ,vater; it is a lnarvellous gift. 
And it is also strange and lnarvellous that corn grows out of the 
earth. 'Vho has this art and this power? God has it, who can do 
such 
tnnatu1.(tl things, that we Inay thence Ï1nagine what sort of a 
God he is and ,vhat sort of power he has, that we 111ay not be 
terrified at hilll nor despair, but finnly believe and trust hilll, that 
he can make the leather in the pocket into gold, and can nUlke dust 
into corn on the earth, and the air a cellar for me full of wine. 
He is to be trusted, as having such great power, and ,ve may kno,v 
that we have a God who can perforll1 these deeds of skill, and that 
around hill1 it rains and snows with Iniraculous ,vorks."-Luther 
(T. iii. p. 594). 
Tlw omnipotence of Providence is tlte Oínnipotence of lLunLan .feel- 
ing releasing itself frO'ln all conditions and laws of Natztti"e. T/âs 
onLnipotence is realized by praye'r. P1'ayer is .Al1nighty. " The 
prayer of faith shall save the sick. ...... The effectual fervent prayer 
of a righteous nlan availeth llluch. Elias was a lnan subject to like 
passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it n1Ïght not rain; 
and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six 
months. And he prayed again, and the heavens gave rain and the 
earth brought forth her fruit."-Jalnes v. 15-18. "If ye have 
faith and doubt not, ye shall not orùy do this ,vhich is done to the 
fig-tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou re- 
nloved and be thou cast into the sea, it shall be done, and all things 
whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."- 
l\Iatt. xxi. 21, 22. That under this mountain which the po,ver of 
faith is to overcome are to he under::;tood not only very difficult 
things-res difficillin
ae, as the exegetists say, who explain this 
l)assage as a proverbial, hyperbolical mode of speech among the 
Jews, but rather things ,vhich according to Nature and reason are 
impossible, is proved by the case of the instantaneously withered 
fig-tree, to which the passage in question refers. Here indubitably 



300 


APPE
DIX. 


is declared the 01l1nipotence of prayer, of faith, before which the 
power of Nature valli
hes into nothing. "l\Iutantur quoque (tel preces 
ea quae ex natw}'(te causis erant sequutura, queluachnochun in 
Ezechia contigit, rege J uda, cui, lJ.uoclnaturales causarum progressus 
lllortem millabantur, dictum est a propheta Dei: Morieris et non 
rv
ivesj sedisdecursus naturae ad regis preces rnutatus est et nlutaturum 
se Deus praeviderat."-J. L. Vives (1. c, p. 132). " Saepe fatorUlll. 
saevitiaIll lenit Deus, placatus piorlun votis."-l\Ielancthon (Epist. 
SiIn. Grynaeo). " Cedit nntura 1'm'WJn pl'ecib
ts IHoysi, Eliae, Elisaei, 
J esaiae et onlniunl piol'lun, sicut Christus illquit l\Iatt. 
1 : Onlnia 
quae petetis, credentes accil'ietis."-Id. (Loci de Creat. p. 64, ed. cit.) 
Celsus calls on the Christians to aid the Emperor and not to de- 
cline Inilit.1ry service. 'Vhereupon Origen answers: "prrecibus 
nostris profligantes on1nes bellorum excitatores daelllonas et pertnr- 
batores pacis ac foederunl plus conferinlus regibus, quam qui al'lna 
gestant pro Republica."-Origenes (adv. Celsluu. S. Glenio into 1. 
viii.) Hunlan need is the necessity of the Divine Will. In 
prayer man is the active, the determining, God the passive, the 
detel'lnined. God does the will of man. "God does the will of 
those that fear hinl, and he gives his will up to ours. ...... For the 
text says clearly enough, that Lot was not to stay in all the plain, 
but to escape to the mountain. But this his ,vish God changes, 
because Lot fears hÜn and prays to hinl." "And we haye other 
testinlonies in the Scriptures, which prove that God allo,vs himself 
to be turned and subjects his ,vill to our wish." "Thus it ,vas 
according to the regular order of God's po,ver, that the sun should 
maintain its revolution and wonted course; but when J o
hua in 
his need called 011 the Lord and conunanded the sun, that it should 
stand still, it stood still at Joshua's word, How great a miracle 
this was, ask the astronOlners."-Luther (T. ii. p. 226). "Lord, I 
am here and there in great need and danger of body and soul, and 
therefore want thy help and cOlufort. Item: I must have this and 
that; therefore I entreat thee that thou give it nle," "He who so 
IJrays and perseveres unaLashed, does right, and our Lord God is 
,yell pleased ,vith him, for He is not so squealllÍsh as we lllen."- 
Id. (T. xvi. p. 1:50). 



 12. 
Faith is the freedon1 and blessedness wl"ich feeling finds in it- 
self Feeling objective to itself and active in tlds freed01n, tlte 
'reaction of feeling against .A.Vatu:re, is tlte arbit'}'ar;'iness of the 
imagi'}uttion. The objects of .faitl" therefm'e necess(t'}'ily contradict 
Nnt'ure, necess(tí'ily cont-ntdict Renson, as tlntt which rep'resents the 
nabÆ1.e of thinys. "Quid 11lagis contra fideul, quam credere nolle, 
quidqnicl non possit ratione attingere 1 ...... N alll illauJ quae in 



APPE!\DIX. 


301 


Deum est fides} beatus papa Gregorius negat plane habere llleritunl, si 
ei hurnana ratio praeLeat experimentuln."-Bernardus (contI'. Abe- 
lard, Ep. ad DOlIl. PapaIn Innocentiulll). "Partus vÙ'yinis nec ratione 
colligitur, nec exeluplo lllonstratur. Quùdsi ratione colliyit1f1", non 
erit 1nÙ'abile."-Conc. Toletan. XI. Art. IV. (Sumn1a, Carranza.) 
"Quid autenl incredibile, si contJ'a 'llSU1n o1'iginis naÞuralis peperit 
l\Iaria et virgo pernu1,net: quando contra USUlll naturae nlare vidit 
et fugit atque in fontem suum J ordanis fiuenta relnearunt 1 Non 
ergo excedit fidem, quod virgo peperit, quando legilllus, quod petra 
yomuit aquas et in montis specienl maris unda solidata est. Non 
ergo exceclit fiden1, quod hOlno exivit de virgine, quando pEtra pro- 
fiuit, scaturivit ferruDl supra aqua
, aIubulavit homo supra aquas." 
-Alnbrosius (Epist. L. x. Ep. 81. Edit. Basil. ÀnlerLach. 1492 et 
1516). "l\Iira sunt fratres, quae de isto sacraillento diculltur...... 
Haec 
unt quae fidelll necessario exigunt, rationem omnino non 
admittunt."-Bernardus (de Coena Dorn.). "Quid ergo hic quam'is 
naturae ordine1n in Christi corpore, cum praeter natura'IlL sit ip
e 
partus ex virgine."-Petrus LOlnb. (1. iv. dist. 10, c. 2). "Laus 
fidei est credere quod est supra rationelu, uLi hon10 alnwgat intel- 
lectum et on
nes sens'Us." (Acldit. Henrici de V urÏ1naria. ILicl. 
dist. 12, c, 5.) "All the articles of our faith appear foolish and 
ridiculous to reason."... ... 'Ve Christians seem fools to the ,yorId 
for believing that l\Iary ,vas the true lliother of this child, and was 
nevertheless a pure virgin. For this is not only against all rea
;;on, 
but also against the creation of God, ,vho said to Aclaln and Eve, 
" Be fruitful and nlultiply." "vV e ought not to inquire whether 
a thing be possible, but .we should say, God has said it, therefore 
it ,vill happen, even if it be iInpossible. For although I cannot 
see or understand it, yet the Lord can make the impossible 
possible, and out of nothing can n1ake all things,"-Luther (T. xvi. 
pp. 148, 149, 570), "'Vhat is nlore n1Ïraculous than that God and 
Ulan is one Person 1 that he is the Son of God and the Son of l\Iary, 
and yet only one Son 7 Who will cOlnprt'hencl this nlystery in all 
eternity, that God is man, that a creature is the Creator, and the 
Creator a creature 7" --ld. (T. vii. p, 128). The essential object 
of faith, therefore, is miracle j but not common, visible miracle, 
,vhich is an object even to the bold eye of curiosity and unbelief in 
general; not the appearance, but the essence of n1Ïracle j not the 
fètct, but the lniraculou
 pOtCe1', the B
illg who works nliracles, who 
attests and reveals Limself in n1Ïracle. And this n1Ïraculous power 
is to faith always present j even Protestantism believes in the un- 
interrupted perpetuation of miraculous power j it only denies the 
necessity that it should still manifest itself in special visible signs, 
for the furtherance of dogmatic ends. "Some have said that signs 
.were the revelation of the Spirit in the conlmencemellt of Cllris- 



302 


APPEXDIX. 


tianity and have now cf'ased. That is not correct; for there is 
even now such a power, and though it is not used, that is of no im- 
portance. For we have still the power to perfornl such signs." 
" Now, however, that Christianity is spread abroad and nlade 
known to all the world, there is no need to work miracles, as ill 
the tinles of the apostles. But if there ,vere need for it, if the 
Gospel were oppressed and persecuted, we HUlst truly apply our- 
selves to this, and Illust also work n1Íracles."-Luther (T. xiii. pp. 
642, 648). l\Iiracle if::1,. so essential, so natural to faith, that to it 
even natural phenomena are miracles, and not in the physical sense, 
but in the theological, supranaturalistic sense. "God, in the be- 
ginning, said: Let the eart.h bring forth grass and herbs, &c. 
That same word which the Creator spoke brings the cherry out of 
the dry bough, and the cherry-tree out of the little kernel. It is 
the omnipotence of God which makes young fowls and geese come 
out of the eggs. Thus God preaches to us daily of the resuITection 
of the dead, and has given us as many examples and experiences of 
this article as there are creatures."-Luther (T. x, p, 432. See also 
T. iii. pp. 586, 592, and Augustine, e. g. Enarr. in Ps. 90; Sernlo 
Ü. c. 6). If, therefore, faith desires and needs no speciallniracle, 
this is only because to it everything is fundamentally miracle, 
everything an effect of divine, nliraculous power. Religious faith 
has no sense, no perception for Nature. Nature, as it exists for us, 
has no existence for faith. To it the will of God is alone the 
ground, the bond, the necessity of things. " God... .. .could indeed 
have made us lHen, as he did Adanl and Eve, by hinIself, without 
father and mother, as he could reign without princes, as he could 
give light without sun and stars, and bread without fields and 
ploughs and labour. But it is not his will to do thus."-Luther 
(T. xvi. p, 614). It is true" God enlploys certain means, and so 
conducts his lniraculous ,vorks as to use the service of Nature and 
instrlunents." Therefore we ought-truly on very natural grounds 
-" not to despise the lneans and instrunlents of Nature." " Thus 
it is allowable to use medicine, nay, it ought to be used, for it is a 
means created in order to preserve health."-Luther (T. i. p. 508). 
But--and that alone is decisive-it is ílOt necessa'ry that I should 
use natural lneans in order to be cured; I can be cured inIme- 
diately by God. 'Vhat God ordinarily does by mean
 of Nature, 
he can also do without, nay, in opposition to Nature, and actually 
does it thus, in extraordinary cases, when he will. "God," says 
Luther in the same place, "could iudeed easily have preserved 
Noah and the anilnals through a whole year without food, as lle 
preserved l\Ioses, Elijah, and Christ forty days without any food." 
\Vhether he does it often or seldom is indifferent; it is enough if 
he only doe
 it once; what happens once can halJpen illllUllleraLle 



APPEKDIX. 


303 


times. A single miracle has universal significance-the signi- 
ficance of an exmuple. "This deed, the passage through the Red 
Sea, happened as a figure and exmnple, to show us that it will be 
so with us."-Lutller (T. iii. p. S96). "These n1Ïracles are written 
for us, who are chosen."-Ib. (T. ix. p. 14
). The natural means 
which God employs when he does no 111iracle, have no more signi- 
ficance than those which he employs when he perfornls nlÏracles. 
If the animals, God so willing it, can live as well without food as 
.with it, food is in itself as unnecessary for the preservation of life, 
as indifferent, as non-essential, as arbitrary, as the clay with which 
Christ anointed the eyes of the blind man to whom he restored 
sight, as the staff with which l\Ioses divided the sea (" God 
could have done it just as well without the staff"). "Faith is 
stronger than heaven and earth, or all creatures." "Faith turns 
water into stones; out of fire it can hring water, and out of water 
fire."-Luther (T. iii. pp. 56!, 565). That is to say, for faith there 
exists no lÌInit, no law, no necessity, no Nature; there exists only 
the will of God, against which all things and powers are nothing. 
If therefore the believer, when in sickness and distress, has 
recourse notwithstanding to natural means, he only follows the 
voice of his natural reason. The one means of cure which is con- 
gruous with faith, which does not contradict faith, which is not 
thrust upon it, whether consciously and voluntarily or not, from 
without,-the one rmnedy for all evil and n1Ísery is prayer; for 
"prayer is ahnighty."-Luther (T. iv. p. 27). Why then use a 
natural means also 1 For even in case of its application, the effect 
,vhich follows is by no means its own, but the effect of the super- 
natural will of God, or rather the effect of faith, of prayer; for 
prayer, faith deternlines the will of God. " Thy faith hath saved 
thee." Thus the natural Ineans which fitith recognises in practice 
it nullifies in theory, since it Inakes the effect of such means an 
effect of God,-i. e., an effect which could have taken place just as 
,veIl without tills means. The natural effect is therefore nothing 
else than a circumstantial, covert, concealed miracle; a miracle 
however which has not the appearance of a miracle, but can only 
be l}erceived as such by the eyes of faith. Only in expression, not 
in fact, is there any difference between an ÌInmediate and mediate, 
a nìiraculous and natural operation of God. When faith makes use 
of a natural means, it speaks otlterwise titan it tAillks
. when it 
supposes a miracle it speaks as it tltiuks, but in both cases it 
thinks the sallie. In the mediate agency of God faith is in dis- 
union with itself, for the senses here deny what faith affil'lns; in 
n1Ïracle, on the contrary, it is at one with itself, for there the al)- 
pearance coincides with the reality, the senses with faith, the ex- 
pression .with the fact. Miracle is the terniJÏnus techrâc'us of faith. 



301. 


APPENDIX. 



 13. 


Tlw ReSU1'1'ect.ion of Christ is bodily, i. e" personal Ï1nrnortality, 
presented as a seJt
ible indubitable fact. 
"Resurrexit Ohristus, absoluta 1'es est.-Ostendit se iPSUlll dis- 
cipulis et fidelibus suis: contrectata est soliditas corporis.,. ,.. Con- 
jinnatafides estnoll sohlIn in cordibus, sed etialll in oc'uÜs hon1Ïllum." 
--,,-
UgUStillUS (Senllones ad Pop. S. 242, c. 1. S. 361, c. 8. See 
also on this subject l\Ielancthon, Loci: de Re
urr. l\Iort.). "The 
philosophers...., ,held that by death the soul was released from the 
body, and that after it ,vas thus set free froln the body, as from a 
prison, it canle into the asselHLly of the gods, and ,vas relieved 
fronl all corporeal burthens. Of such an iuullortality the philo- 
sophers allowed IHen to dream, though they did not hold it to 
be certain, nor could defend it. But the Holy Scriptures teach of 
the resurrection and eternal life in another manner, and place the 
hope of it so certainly before our eyes, that we cannot doubt it."- 
Luther (T. i. p. 549). 



 14. 


Christianity 7n(ule 'lÎ
an an ext-ram/undane, sUJ1m'natural being. 
"\Ve have here no abiding city, but 'we seek one to cOlne."-Heb. 
xiii. 1-1. "\Vhilst we are at hOlne in the body, ,ve are absent from 
the Lord,"-2 001'. v. 6. "If in this body, which is properly our 
own, we are strangers, and our life in this Lody is nothing else than 
a pilgrÏ1nage; ho,v much Inore then are the possessions which we 
have for the sake of the body, such as fields, houses, gold, &c., 
nothing else than idle, strange things, to be used as if we ,yere on a 
pilgrinlage 1" " Therefore we must in thi'3 life live like strangers 
until we reach the true fatherland, and receive a better life which 
is eternal."-Luther (T. ii. pp. 240, 370 a). "Our conversation 
(7roÀÍTEvfla, civitas aut jus civitatis) is in heaven, fronl whence al::;o 
we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Ohrist, "who shall change 
our vile body that it nlay be like unto his glorious body, according 
to the working whereby he is able even to subdue an things unto 
hilnself."-Phil. iii. 20,21. "Neq'lle 1nundus generat lLOrninen
, neque 
7J
'undi lwnw pars est.-Lactantius (Div. lnst. 1. ii. c, 6), " Ooelum 
de mundo: lwnw supra 1nundullt."-Anlbrosius (Epist. 1. vi. Ep. 
38, ed. cit,). " Agnosce 0 hOlno dignitateln tUaIn, agnosce glorialll 
conditionis hUlllanae. Est enÍln tibi CUln n
undo corpus..... .sed 
est tibi etiaul sublin1Ïu
 aliquid, nec omnino c01npæl"andus es 
caetm'is c'l"eatltris:'-Bernardus (Opp. Basil. 1552, p. 79), "At 
Ohri
tianus.., .. .ita supra totum mundum ascendit, nee cOllsistit 



APPENDIX. 


305 


In coeli conveXlS, sed transcensls mente locis supel'coelesti1us 
dnctu divini spiritus velut jam extra m'llndzun 'raptus offert 
Deo preces."-Origenes (contra Celsum. ed. Hoeschelio, p. 370). 
" l J otus quidem iste fJnund'tts ad unius animae pretiu7J
 aestÚna1'i non 
potest. Non enÏ1n }J'J'Ú tuto 'I/tundo Deus anÜnanl suanl dare voluit, 
qUaIn pro anÏ1nc(; ltu1Jzana dedit. Suhlin1Ïus est ergo allimae pre- 
tiuln, quae non nisi sanguine Cltristi redin1Ï pote::;t."-l\Iedit. devotiss. 
c. ii. (Anlong the spurious writings of 
t. Bernard,) " Sapiens 
anima..,., .Deum tantunlmodo sapiens hominem in bomine exuit, 
Deoque plene et in omnibus affecta, Olllne7J
 infra Deuin C1'eaturalllJ 
non aliter quam Deus attendit. Relicto ergo corpore et corporeis 
0l1lniLu8 curis et ÏInpedÏ1nentis OlnnÜUll quae sunt praeter Deunl 
obliviscitur, nihilque praeter Deulll attelldells quasi se solam, 
solzl'Tnf}ue Dellln existilllans," etc.-De N at. et Dign, Allloris Divini 
cc. 1-1, 15. (lb.) " Quid agis frateI' in saeculo, qui major es mundo 1" 
-Hieronymus (ad Helioù. de Laude Vitae solit.). 



 15. 


The celibctte and nwnachísJ11r-Of course only in tlwÚ' úfJ'iginal, 
religious significance aud fonn-are sensible l1wnifestations, neces- 
sary consequences, of tlw SU1Yj"anat
{ralistic, exlranzund(t1w chafJ'((cte1' 
of Ckristianity, It is true that they also contradict Christianity; 
the reason of this is shown by Ï1nplication in the present \vork; but 
only because Chri::;tianity is itself a contradiction, They contra- 
dict exoteric, practical, but not esoteric, theoretical Christim1Ïty; 
they contradict Christian love so fitr as this love relates to lilan, 
but not Christian faith, not Christian love so far as it loves lnan 
only for God's sake. There is certainly nothing concerning celibacy 
and monachislll in the Bible; and that is very natural. In the 
beginning of Christianity the great luatter was the recognition of 
Jesus as the Christ, the J\Iessiah-the conversion of the heathens 
and Jews. And this conversion was the nlore pressing, the nearer 
the Christian::; supposed the day of judgnlent and the destruction 
of the .world;- peTiculul}
 in mm'(t, There was not tÜne or oppor- 
tunity for a life of quietude, for the contenlplation of nlonachisln. 
Hence there necessarily reigned at that tinle a more practical and 
even liberal sentÏ1nellt than at a later period, when Christianity 
had attained to worldly don1Ïnion, and thus the enthusiasrn of 
proselytisln was extinguished. "Apostoli (says the Church, quite 
correctly: Carranza, 1. c. p, 256) CUlll fides inciperet, ad fideliu1ì
 
i7J
1Jecillitatel/
 se lnagis demitte1ant, CUlll auteJll evangelii prae- 
dicatio sit llmgis arnpliata, o]!ortet et Ponti:fices aà perfectam con- 
tinentiam vitaul suaIll dirigere." 'Vhen once Christianity realized 



306 


APPEXDIX. 


itself in a "\vorldly fonn, it nlust also necessarily develop the 
supranaturalistic, supramundane tendency of Chri
tianity into a 
literal separation from the world. And this disposition to separa- 
tion froln ]ife, from the body, from the world,-this first hyper- 
cosmic then anti-cosmic tendency, is a genuinely biblical disposi- 
tion and spirit. In addition to the passages already cited, and 
others universally known, the following may stand as eXaInples; 
"He that hateth his life in this world, shall keep it unto life 
eternal." "I know that in me, that is, in lny flesh, d\velleth no 
good thing."-Rom. vü. 18. ("Veteres enim Olnnis vitiositatis in 
agendo origenes ad corpus referebant."-J. G. Rosenlnüller Scholia.) 
"Forasnluch then as Christ bath suffered for us in the flesh, arm 
yourselves also with the SaIne n1Ìnd; for he that hath suffered in 
the flesh hath ceased from sin."-l Pet. iv. 1. "I have a desire to 
depart, and to be 'with Christ."-Phil. i. 23. "Weare confident 
and "\villing rather to be absent froln the body and present with the 
Lord."-2 Cor. v. 8. Thus, according to these passages, the parti- 
tion-wall between God and lnan is the body (at least the fleshly, 
actual body); thus the body as a hindrance to union with Goel is 
sonlething worthless, to be denied. That by the world, which 
is denied in Christianity, is by no means to be understood a life 
of mere sensuality, but the real objective world, is to be inferred in 
a popular manner frolll the belief that at the advent of the Lord, 
i. e., the consummation of the Christian religion, heaven and earth 
will pass away. 
The difference between the belief of the Christians and that of the 
heathen philosophers as to the destruction of the world is not to be 
overlooked. The Christian destruction of the world is only a crisis 
of faith,-the separation of the Christian fron1 all that is anti- 
christian, the triunlph of faith over the world, a judglnent of God, 
an anti-cosmical, supernaturalistic act. " But the heavens and the 
earth \vhich a.re now, by the Salne word are kept in store, reserved 
unto fire against the day of judgment and l)erdition of ungodly 
lllen."-2 Pet. iü. 7. The heathen destruction of the world, is a 
crisis of the Cosmos itself, a process which takes place according to 
law, which is founded in the con:5titution uf Nature. " Sic origo 
mundi, non minus solem et lunam et vices siderul1l. et anilnalium 
ortus, quam quibus lnutarentur terrena, cOlltilluit. In his fnit 
inundatio, quae non secus quam hiems, quam aestas, lege 'TJLundi 
venit."-Seneca (N at, Qu. 1. iü. c. 29). It is the principle of life 
imlnanent in the world, the essence of the "\vorld itself, which evolves 
this crisis out of itself. " ...1 qua et 'I..gnis terrenis dOluinantur. Ex 
his ort'w:; et ex J"is inte'ritus est."-(Ibid. c. 28.) " Quidy'uid est, non 
el'it; necperihit, sed resolvetur."-(Idelll Epi
t. 71.) The Christians 
excluded themselves frolll the destruction of the world. "ABd h
 



APPENDIX. 


307 



hall send hi
 angel
 with a great sound of a trtllllpet; and they 
shall gather together his elect frOln the four winds, ii'OIn one end of 
heaven to the other."-l\latt. xxiv. 31. "But there shall not a hair 
of your head perish.... . . . And then shall they see the Son of l\lan 
conling in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these 
thing
 begin to corne to pa

, then look up and lift up your heads; 
for your reclelllption dnL,veth nigh,"-Luke xxi. 18, 27,28. "'Vatch 
ye therefore and pray always, that ye lllay be accounted worthy to 
escape all these things that shall corne to pass, and to stand before 
the Son of :i\Ian."-Ib. 36. The heathens, on the contrary, identified 
their fate with the fate ofthe,vorld. "Hoc universurn, quod omnia 
divina humauaque conlplectitur......dies aliqui
 dissipabit et in 
confu
ionenl vetereIll tenebra
que deInerget. Eat nunc oliquis 
et singulas cOlnploret ani nuts. Quis taln superbae illlpotentisque 
arrogantiae est, ut in hac naturae necessitate, omnia ad eundem 
finem revocantis, se unurn (W SUDS seponi 'l.,'eliC' Seneca (Cons. ad 
Polyb. cc. 20,21). "Ergo quandoque eritterrninus rebus 11lunanis. 
...... Non nluri quenquam, non turres tuebuntur. .l.Yun prode1
unt 
ten
plct supplicibIts."-(Nat. Qu. L. iii.c. 29.) Thus here we have again 
the characteristic distinction between heathenisIl1 and Christianity. 
The heathen forgot hilnself in the ,vorld, the Christian forgot the 
world in himself. And as the heatl)en identified l1Ìs destructio 
.with the destruction of the world, so he identified his iuuI10rtality 
with the ilnmortality of the world. To the heathen, Ulan was a 
conlrnon, to the Christian, a select being; to the latter ill1lnortality 
was a privilege of nIan, to the forIner a cOllIn on good which he vin- 
dicated to himself only because, and in so far as, he assigned to other 
beings a share in it also. The Christians expected the destruction of 
the ,vorld immediately, because the Christian religion has in it no 
cosmical principle of develupnlent :-all ,vhich developed itself in 
Christendom developed itself only in contradiction with the original 
nature of Christianity;-because by the existence of God in the 
flesh, i. e" by the iIl1mediate identity of the species .with the indivi- 
dual, everything was attained, the thread of history was cut short, no 
other thought of the future remained than the thought of a repetition, 
of the second coming of the Lord. The heathens, on the contrary, 
placed the destruction of the world in the distant future, because, 
living in the contemplation of the universe, they did not set heaven 
and earth in Illotion on their own account,-because they extended 
and freed their self-consciousness by the consciousness of the species, 
placed imnlortality only in the perpetuation of the species, and thus 
did not reserve the future to theIllselves, but left it to the coming 
generations. " Veniet tempus quo posteri nostri taIll apC'rta nos 
nescisse mirentur."-Seneca (Nat. Qu. 1. vii. c. 25). He who places 
illllllortality in hÜll
elf aLoli
hes the principle of historical develop- 



303 


APPE
DIX. 


ment. The ChristianR did indeed, according to Peter, expect a new 
heaven and a ne,v earth. But with this Christian, i. e., super- 
terrestrial earth, the theatre of history is for ever closed, the end of 
the actual worlel is come. The heathens, on the contrary, set no 
lilnits to the development of the Cosmos j they supposed the world 
to be destroyed only to arise again renovated as a real wodd j they 
granted it eternal life. The Christian destruction of the world 
was a lllatter of feeling, an object of fear and longing j the heathen, 
a nlatter of reason, an inference fronl the contemplation of nature. 
Unspotted Virginity is tlw principle ofSalvcltlion, the principle of the 
regenerate Christian w01'ld. "Virgo gennit 'lnundi saluten

. virgo 
peperit vitam universorulll. ...... Virgo portavit, quem 'lnundus 
iste cape're aut sustine1'e non potest. ...... Per virun
 auten
 et 
mulieren
 caJ'O ejecta de paradiso: per virgine}}1., Juncta est Deo."- 
Ambrosius (Ep. L. x. Ep, 82). " Jure laudatur bona uxor, sed 
nlelius pia Vi1.g0 praefertur, dicente Apostolo. (1 Cor. vii.) Bonunl 
conjugiurn, per quod est inventa posteritas successionis humanae j 
sed '1nelius virginitas, per quam regni coelestis haereditas acquisita 
et coelestiuln meritoruln reperta successio. Per llluliermll cura 
succes::;it: per vi}'gine}}
 salus eveni t." (Id. Ep. 81.) " Castitas 
jUllgit hominenl coelo. ...... Bona est castitas cOlljugalis, sed melior 
est continentia vidualis. OptÙna vero illtegrilas virginalis."-De 
nlodo bene vivendi. Sermo 
2. (Among the 
purious writings of 
Bernard,) "IJ 1 Ûcllritudinern hominisnon concupiscas" (ibid. S. 23). 
"Fornicatio nlajor est on
nibus peccatia, ...... Audi beati IsÙlori 
verba: Fornicatione coinquinari deterius est OllU1Ï peccato." (Ibid.) 
,. Virgillitas cui gloriae nlel'ito non praefertur 1 Angelicae 1 Angelus 
habet virginitateln, sed non carnem, sane felicior, quan1 fortior in 
hac parte,"-Bel'nardus (Ep. 113, ad Sophiam Virginem). " JHe- 
mento semper, quod paradisi colon
tm de possessione sua rnulier 
ejecerit.-Hieronymus (Ep. N epotiano). "In paradiso virginitas 
conversabatur. .,.... Ipse Christus virginitatis gloria non 11lOdo ex 
patre sine initio et sine duo rum concursu genitus, sed et h01110 
secunchllll nos factus, sup.er nos ex virgine sine alieno consortio 
illcarnatus est. Et ipse virginitateln vera'lJ
 et pe'}fectalJ
 esse, in se 
ipso demonstravit. Uncle hanc nobis legem Iwn slatuit (non enin1 
O1nnes capiunt verbulll hoc, ut ipse dixit) sed opere nos e1'udivit." 
--Joan. Danlasc. (Orthod. fidei, 1. iv. c. 25). 
N ow if abstinence fr0111 the satisfaction of the sensual inlPulse, the 
negation of difference of sex and consequently of sexual love,-for 
what is this without the other?-is the principle of the Christian 
heaven and salvation j then necessarily the satisfaction of the sexual 
impuh;e, sexual love, on 'which lllarriage is founded, is the source of 
sin and evil. Anel so it is held. The mystery uf original sin is the 
Iny
tery of sexual desire. Alllnen are cOllceived in sin because they 



APPENDIX. 


300 


were conceived with sensual, i. e., natural pleasure. The act of genera- 
tion, as an act of sensual enjoyment, is sinful. Sin is propagated fronl 
Adanl down to us, simply hecause its propagation is the natural act 
of generation. This is the nlystery of Christian original sin, "Atque 
hic quanl alienus a vero sit, etiam hic reprehenditur, quod voluptatern 
in hOlnine fleo nutlt01"e creatanl a
serit principaliter. Sed hoc divinae 
scriptura redarguit, quae serpentis illsidiis atque illeceùris infusmn 
Adae atque Evae voluptatenl clocet, siquidelll ipse se11}ens vob'ptas 
sit. '..... Quonlodo igitur volnptas ad paradisum revocare nos potest, 
quae sola nos paradiso exuit T'-Anlbrosius (Ep. L. x. Ep. 8i). 
" Voluptas ipsa s'ine cu.lpa nullatenus esse potest."-Petrus L. (1. iv. 
dist. 31, c. 5). " Onlnes in peccatis nati sumus, et ex carJds delec- 
tatione concepti culpanl origillalerll nobisClull traximus,"-Gregorius 
(Petrus L, 1. ii. dist. 30, c. 2). "Firll1Ïssilne tClle et nullatenus 
dnbites, omnem hominenl, qui per concubitzlln vi1'i et 'Tfi/idieris con- 
cipitur, cum originali peccato nasci. .,.... Ex his datur intelligi, 
quid sit originale peccatU/Tn, scl. vitiu'm conc'Upiscentiae, quod in 
Ollllles concupiscentialiter llatos per Adam intravit." (Ibid, c. 3, see 
also dist. 31, c. 1.) "Peccati causa ex carne est,"-Anlbrosius (ibid.) 
"Christus peccat
un non habet, nec originale traxit, nec suunl addidit : 
extra voz.uptate'ln cC(;Tnalis Z,ibidinis venit, non ibi fuit complex'Us 
'TnaTitalis. ...... Onlnis gener'CällS, dan
natus."-Angustinus (Sernl. 
ad pop, S, 294, cc. 10, 16). " Homo nat'Us de 'Tn'Uliere et ob lwc curn 
recäu-Bernanlus (de consid, 1. ii.) "Peccatunl quomodo non 
fuit, ubi libido non defuit 1 ...... Quo pacto, inquanl, aut sanctus 
asseretur conceptus, qui de spiritu s, non est, ne dicalJ
 de peccato est 1" 
-Id, (Epist. 17!. Edit, cit.) "All that is born into the world of 
man and wonlan is sinful, under God's anger and curse, condemned 
to death," "All men born of a father and mother are children of 
wrath by nature, as St. Paul testifies, Ephes. ii," "\V e have by 
nature a tainted, sinful conception and birth."-Luther (T. xvi. 
246, 573). It is clear from these exalnples, that "carnal inter- 
course"-even a kiss is carnal intercourse-is the radical sin, the 
radical evil of mankindj and consequently the basis of marriage, 
the sexual impulse, honestly outspoken, is a product of the devil. 
It is true that the creature as the work of God is good, but it has 
long cea8ed to exist as it was created. The devil has alienated the 
creature from God and corrupted it to the very foundation. 
"Cursed be the ground for thy sake." The fall of the creature, 
ho,vever, is only an hypothesis by which faith drives from its mind 
the burdensome, disquieting contradiction, that Nature is a product 
of God, and yet, as it actually is, does not harnlonize with God, i. e., 
with the Christian sentiment. 
Christianity certainly did not pronounce the flesh as :flesh, matter 
as matter, to be sOlnething sinful, iUlpure; on the contrary, it 



310 


APPEKDIX. 


contended vehemently against the heretics who held this opinion 
and rejected nlarriage. (See for exanlple Augustin. Contra 
Faustum, 1. 29, c. 4, 1. 30, c. 6. Clemens Alex. StrOlnata, 
lib. iii. and Bernard: Super Cantica, Sermo 66.) But quite 
apart from the hatred to heretics .which so inspired the holy 
Christian church and made it so politic, this protest rested on 
grounds ,vhich by no Jueans involved the recognition of Nature 
as such, and under limitations, i. e" negations, which lnake the 
recognition of N atUl'e merely appa.rent and illusory. The distinc- 
tion between the, heretics and the orthodox is only this, that the 
latter sa.id indirectly, covertly, secretly, .what the former declared 
plainly, directly, but for that very reason offensively. Pleasure is 
not separable from matter. Material pleasure is nothing further, 
so to speak, than the joy of matter in itself, matter proving itself 
by activity. Every joy is self-activity, every pleasure a lnanifestation 
of force, energy. Every organic function is, in a norlual condition, 
united with enjoyment; even breathing is a pleasurable act, which 
is not perceived as such only because it is an uninterrupted process. 
He therefore who declares generation, :fleshly intercourse, as such, 
to be pure, but :fleshly intercourse united ,vith sensual pleasure to 
be a consequence of original sin and consequently itself a sin, acknow- 
ledges only the dead, not the living flesh-he raises a mist before 
us, he condemns, rej ects the act of generation, and matter in general, 
though under the appearance of not rejecting it, of acknow- 
ledging it. The unhypocritical, honest acknowledglnent of sensual 
life is the 
wknowledgnlent of sensual pleasure. In brief, he ,vho, 
like the Bible, like the Church, does not ackno,vledge flesbly 
pleasure-that, be it understood, 'which is natural) norn1al, insepar- 
able from life-does not acknowlédge the :flesh. That which is not 
recognised as an end in itself (it by no means follows that it should 
be the ultimate end) is in truth not recognised at all. Thus he who 
allows 111e wine only as medicine, forbids 11le the enjoyntent of wine. 
Let not the liberal supply of wine at the ,vedding at Cana be urged. 
For that scene transports us, by the metamorphosis of water into 
wine, beyond Nature into the region of supernaturalism. vVhere, as 
in Christianity, a supernatural, spiritual body is regarded as the 
true, eternal body, i. e., a body from which all objective, sensual 
impuh;es, all :flesh, all nature, is reIlloved, there real, i. e., sensual, 
fleshly matter is denied, is regarded as worthless, nothing. 
Certainly Christianity did not make celibacy a law (save at a 
later period for the priests). But for the very reaRon that 
chastity, or rather privation of marriage, of sex, is the highest
 
the I110st transcendent, supernaturalistic, heavenly virtue, it can- 
not and Blust not be lowered into a con1nlon object of duty j it 
stands ahove the la,v, it is the virtue of Christian grace and free- 
dom. " Christus hortatur idoneos ad coelibatu/Jn, ut donum recte 



APPENDIX. 


311 


tueantur; idem Christus iis, qui puritate?n extra eonfllgium non 
retinent, praecipit, ut pure in cOlljugio vivant."-l\'Ielancthon, (Re- 
sponsio ad Colonienses. Declaln. T. iii.) " r'z1"gÚdtas non est jU8sa, 
sed admonita, quia nilwis est exeelsa." De Inodo bene viv.-(Senno 
21.) " Et qui matrinlonio jungit virgin em suam, benefacit, et qui 
non jungit, 'Jnelius faeit. Quod igitur bonum est, non vitandum est, 
et quod est 1neli.us eligent1lln
 est. Itaque non inlponitur, sed pro- 
ponitur. Et ideo bene Apostolus dixit: De virginibus aut em 
praeceptum non habeo, eonsililln
 autem do. Ubi praeceptunl est, 
ibi lex est, ubi consilium, ihi gratiaJ est. ...... Praeceptum eninl 
castitatis est, eonsiliun
 integritatis. ...,.. Sed nee vidua praeceptum 
accipit, sed consiliunl. Consilium autem non semel datum, sed 
saepe 'ì'epetitnn
,"-Anlbrosius (Libel'. de viduis). That is to say: 
celibacy, abstinence from marriage, is no law in the conlnlon or 
Jewish sense, but a law in the Christian sense, or for the Christian 
sentiment, .which takes Christian virtue and perfection as the rule 
of conscience, as the ideal of feeling,-no despotic but a friendly 
law, no public but a secret, esoteric la,v-a. mere counsel, i. e., a 
law which does not venture to express itself as a law, a law for 
those of finer feelings, not for the great mass. Thou mayst nlarry j 
yes indeed! without any fear of committing a sin, i. e., a public, 

xpress, plebeian sin; but thou dost all the better if thou dost not 
marry; rneanwhile this is only my undictatorial, friendly advice. 
On/;nia lieent, sed omnia non expediunt. 'Vhat is allo,ved in the first 
member of the sentence is retracted in the second. Lieet, says the 
man; non expedit, says the Christian. But only that which is good 
for the Christian is for the man, so far as he desires to be a Chris- 
tian, the standard of doing and abstaining, " Quae non expediunt, 
nee lieent"-snch is the conclusion arrived at by the sentiment of 
Christian nobility. l\farriage is therefore only an indulgence to 
the weakness, or rather the strength of the :flesh, a taint of nature 
in Christianity, a falling short of the genuine, perfect Christian 
sentiment; being, however, nevertheless good, laudable, even holy, 
in so far as it is the best antidote to fornication. For its own sake, 
as the self-enjoyment of sexual love, it is not acknowledged, not 
consecrated j-thus the holiness of marriage in Christianity is only 
an ostensible holiness, only illusion, for that which is not acknow- 
ledged for its own sake is not acknowledged at all, while yet there 
is a deceitful sho,v of acknowledgnlent. IVCarriage is sanctioned 
not in order to hallow and satisfy the flesh, but to restrict the :flesh, 
to repress it, to kill it-to drive Beelzebub out by Beelzebub. "Quae 
res et viris et ferninis omnibus adest ad matrinlonium et stuprum 
 
Commixtio carnis scilicet, cujus concupiscentiam Dominus stupro 
adaequavit. ...,.. Ideo virginis principalis sanctitas, quia caret 
stupri affinitati,"-Tertullianus (de Exhort. Cast. c, Ð). '
Et de ipso 
conjugis melius aliquid, quam concessisti, lllonuisti."-Augustinus 



312 


APPENDIX. 


(Confess, x. c. 30)." "It is better to nlarry than to bnrn."-l Cor. 
vii, 9. But ho,v much better is it, says Tertullian, deyeloping this 
text, neither to marry nor to burn. ."... " POSSUlll dicere, quod per- 
mittitur bonum; non est."-(ad Uxorem, 1. i. c. 3) "De n1Ïnoribus bonis 
est conjugiam, quod non nleretur palnlanl, seù est in renwdiu'ln, . ., . .. 
Prima institutio habuit JJt'aeceptu]}
, secunda indulgentian
. Didi- 
ciulus eninl ab A postolo, hunlano generi propter vitandaIll fornica- 
tionenl indultunl esse conjugiunl,"-Petrus Lomb. (1. iv. dist. 26. 
c. 2). "The l\Iaster of the Sentences says rightly, that in Paradise 
marriage ,vas ordained as service, but after sinas nledicine."-Luther 
(T. i. p. 3-19). "'Vhere marriage and virginity are compared, 
certainly chastity is a nobler gift than marriage."-Id. (T. i. p.319). 
"Those whom the ,veakness of nature does not compel to lnar- 
riage, but who are such that they can dispense ,vith lnarriage, these 
do rightly to abstain fronl marriage."-Id. (T, v. p,538). Christian 
sophistry,vill reply to this, that only marriage .which is not Christian, 
only that which is not consecrated by the spirit of Christianity, i. e., 
in which Nature i
 not veiled in pious ilnages, is unhuly. But if 
marriage, if Nature is first made holy by relation to Christ, it is 
not the holiness of nlarriage ,vhich is declared, but of Christianity; 
and nlarriage, Nature, in and by itself, is unholy. And what is the 
semblance of holiness with .which Christianity investcl lllarriage, in 
order to becloud the understanding, but a pious illusion 1 Can the 
Christian fulfil his marriage duties without surrendering himself, 
.willingly or not, to the passion of love 1 Yes indeed. The Christian 
has for his object the replenishing of the Christian Church, not the 
satisfaction of love. The end is holy, but the llleans in itself Ull- 
holy. And the end sanctifies, exculpates the means. "Conjugalis 
con cubitus generandi gratia non habet culpam." Thus the Christian, 
at least the true Christian, denies, or at least is bound to deny, 
Nature, while he satisfies it; he does not ,vish for, he rather con- 
tenulS the llleans. in itself, he seeks only the end in abstracto / he 
does .with religious, suprallaturalistic horror, ,vhat he does, though 
against his will, with natural, sensual pleasure. The Christian does 
not candidly confess his sensuality, he denies Nature before his 
faith, anù his f.<tith before Nature, i. e., he publicly disavo.ws ,vhat he 
privately does. Oh ho,v nnwh better, truer, purer-hearted in this 
respect were the heathens, ,vho lnade no secret of their sensuality, 
than the Christians .who, while gratifying the :flesh, at the sanle 
tinle deny that they gratify it! To this day the Christians adhere 
theoretically to their heavenly origin and destination j to this day, 
out of supranaturalistic affectation, they deny their sex, and turn 
away with lnock modesty from every sensuou
 picture, every naked 
statue, as if they were angels; to this day they repre
::;, even by 
legal force, every open-hearted, ingenuous self-confes::;ion even of the 



APPENDIX. 


313 


most uncorrupt sensuality, only stinlulating by this public prohibi- 
tion the secret enjoynlent of scm;;uality. 'Vhat then, speaking 
briefly and plainly, is the di
tinction between Christians and 
heathens in this Inatter
 The heathens confirmed, the Christians 
contradicted their faith by their lives. The heathens do what they 
mean to do, the Christians what they do not lnean: the fonner, 
where they sin, sin with their conscience, the latter against thcir 
conscience; the former sin simply, the latter dou1ly j the former 
from hypertrophy, the latter fronl atrophy of the flesh. The specific 
crime of the heathens is the ponderable, palpahle crime of licen- 
tiousness, that of the Christian
 is the ÏJllponderaLle, theological 
crime of hypocrisy,-that hypocrisy of .which J esuitislll is indeed 
the nlost striking, world-historical, hut nevertheless only a particular 
manifestation. " Theology nlakes sinners," says Luther-"Luther, 
whose positive qualities, his heart and understanding, so far as they 
applied thenIselves to natural things, ,vere not perverted by theo- 
logy. And l\Iontesquieu gives the best comnlentaryon this saying 
of Luther's when he says: "La dévotion trouve, pour faire de 
nmuvaises actions, des raisons, qu'un silnple honnête honlllle ne 
saurait trouver." (Pensées Diven;es.) 



 16. 


Tlw Christian heaven is Christian truth. That wlticl
 is excluded 
front heaven is excluded frorlt true CII/Joistianity. In lwnven tlte 
Cltrist1"an is free frorn that which he wishes to be free frmn here- 
free jro'ln the sexual impulse, free fr01n 'Tnatter, fi'ee fìoorn }lalure in 
general. " In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in 
nlarriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven,"-l\latt. xxii. 
30. " 
Ieats for the belly, and the belly for meats; but God s11all 
destroy (J:UTUpyijO'EL make useless) both it and them."-l Cor. vi. 
13. " Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit 
the kingdom of heaven, neither doth corruption inherit incorrup- 
tion." -lb. xv. 50. "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst 
any more j neither shall the sun light on tlwnl, nor any heat." 
Rev. vii. 16. "And there shall be no night there; and they 
need no candle, neither light of the sun."-lb. xxii. 5. "COllle- 
dere, hibere, vigilare, donnire, quiescere, laborare et caeteris neceS:- 
sitcttibus nat'ltrae subjacere, vere magna miseria est et affiictio homini 
devoto, qui libenter esset absolutus et libel' ab omni peccato. 
Utinam non essent istae necessitates, sed solunl spirituales aninme 
refectiones, quas hen! satis raro degustanIUs."-Tholuas à Ie. (de 
imit. 1. i. cc. 22, 2f>. See also on thi
 su hject S. Gregorü N yss. de 
allinla et resurr. Lipsiae, 1837. pp. 98, 144, 1.53). It is true that 
the Christian immortality, in di
tinction fi.'om the heathen, is not 
p 



314 


APPENDIX. 


the immortality of tlle soul, but that of the flesh, that is, of the 
whole mall. "Scientia imnlortalis visa est res illis (the heathen 
philosophers) atque incorruptibilis. Nos autelu, quibus divina 
revelatio illuxit..... .novimus, non sohun menten
, sed affectus pe-r- 
purgatos, neque animalfi tantum, sed etiam C011JUS ad i'lnmortali- 
tatem, assumptum iri suo tenlpore."-Baco de V erul. (de augnl. 
Scien. 1. i.) On this account, Celsus reproached the Christians with 
a desiderill1ì
 C011J01ois. But this inunortal body is, as has been 
already relnarked, an imnlaterial, i. e., a thoroughly fanciful, sub- 
jective body-a body which is the direct negation of the real, 
natural body. The ideal on which this faith hinges is not the 
recognition, or glorification of Nature, of matter as such, but rather 
the reality of the enlotive inutgination, the satisfaction of the un- 
limited, supranaturalistic desire of happiness, to ,vhich the actual, 
objective Lody is a limitation, 
As to 'what the angels strictly are, whom heavenly souls will be 
like, the Bible is as far fronl giving us any definite information as 
on other ,veighty subjects; it only calls them 7rllEVf1uru spirits, and 
declares theIll to be higher than lllen. The later Christians ex- 
pressed themselves lllOre definitely on this subject; more definitely, 
but variously. Some assigned bodies to the angels, others not; a 
difference which, however, is only apparent, since the angelic body 
is only a phantasmal one. But concerning the human body of the 
resurrection, they had not only different, but even opposite, con- 
ceptions; indeed, these contradictions lay in the nature of the case, 
necessarily resulted fronl the fundamental contradiction of the re- 
ligious consciousness which, as we have shown, exhibits itself in 
the incompatible propositions, that the body which is raised is the 
sanle individual body which .we had before the resurrection, and 
that nevertheless it is another. It is the same body even to 
the hair, "cum nec periturus sit capillus, ut ait DOIllinus: Capillus 
de capite vestro non periùit." (Augustinus uncI Petrus L. 1. iv. dist. 
44, c. 1.) Nevertheless it is the same in such a ,yay, that every- 
thing burdensolue, everything contradictory to transcendental 
feeling, is removed. "Inllno sicut dicit Augustinus: Detrahentur 
vitia et rmuanebit natura. S7/pe'J'eæcrescentia auten
 capillm o uln et 
'u.nguÚun est de supeì:fluitate et vitio na,lU'J'cte. Si enÏJn non pecc(tsset 
lWlJw, crescerent Uitgnes et capilli ejus 'usque ad deterlJninal(f/ln quan- 
titatem" sicut in leonibns et avihus." (Aclclit. Hellrici ab Vurinlaria 
ibid. Edit. Basiliae, 1513.) \Vhat a specific, naive, ingenuous, 
confident, harIllOnioUH faith! The risen body, as the same and 
yet another, a ne'v body, haB hair and nails, otherwise it "would be 
a maÏ1ned body, deprived of an e
sential ornanlent, and consequently 
the resurrection would not be a restitutio in integl''lon 7. Dloreover 
they are the same hair and naib as before, hut yet so modified that 



APPENDIX. 


315 


they are in accordance with the body. Why do not the believing 
theologians of modern times enter into such specialities as occupied 
the older theologians 1 Because their faith is itself only general, 
indefinite, i. e., a faith which they only suppose thmnselves to 
possess; because, from fear of their understanding, which has long 
been at issue 'with their faith, frOlll fear of risking their feeble faith 
by bringing it to the light, that is, considering it in detail, they 
suppress the consequences, the necessary determinations of their 
faith, and conceal them from their understanding. 



 17. 


What faitlt denies on eartl
 it affirnliS in l
eaven ,. what it 
renounces here it ')'ecovers a l
ll/nllJ'ed:fold tl/'ere. In this world, faith 
occupies itself with nullifying the body; in the other world, with 
establishing it. Here the main point is the separation of the soul 
from the body, there the main point is the reunion of the body 
,vith the soul. " I would live not only according to the soul, but 
according to the Lody also. I would have the corpus with me; I 
would that the body should return to the soul and be united with 
it."-Luther (T. vii. p. 90). In that ,vhich is sensuous, Christ is 
supersensuous; but for that reason, in the supersensuous he is 
sensuous. Heavenly bliss is therefore by 110 means merely 
spiritual, it is equally corporeal, sensuous-a state in which all 
wishes are fulfilled. "Whatever thy heart seeks joy and 
pleasure in, that shall be there in abundance. For it is said, God 
shall be all in all. And ,vhere God is, there must be aU good 
things that can ever be desired." " Dost thou desire to see acutely, 
and to hear through 'walls, and to be so light that thou mayst be 
wherever thou wilt in a moment, whether here below on the earth, 
or above in the clouds, that shall all be, and what more thou canst 
conceive, which thou couldst have in body and soul, thou shalt have 
abundantly if thou hast Rinl."-Luther (T. x. pp. 380,381). Cer- 
tainlyeating, drinking, and nlarriage find no place in the Christian 
heaven, as they do in the Mahonledan; but only because with 
these enjoyments want is associated, and with want matter, i. e., 
passion, dependence, unhappiness. "Illic ipsa indigentia morietur. 
Tunc vere dives eris, quando nullius indjgens erjs."-Augustin. 
(Berm, ad pop. p. 77, c. 9). The pleasures of this earth are only 
medicines, says the sanle ,vriter; true health exists only in inl- 
mortallife-" vera sanitas, nisi quando vera inlmortalitas." The 
heavenly life, the heavenly body, is as free and unlimited as wishes, 
as omnipotent as inlagination. "Futurae ergo resurrectionis corpus 
imperfectae felicitatis erit, si cibos sumere non potue1"it, inlper- 
fectae felicitatis, si cibus eguerit." -Augustin. (Epist. 1 02, 
 
p2 



316 


APPENDIX, 


6, edit. cit,) Nevertheless, existence in a body ,vithout fatigue, 
without heaviness, ,vithout disagreeables, ,vithout disease, without 
mortality, is as'3ociated .with the highest corporeal wellbeing. Even 
the knowledge of God in heaven is free frOlu any effort of thought 
or faith, is sensational, imnlediate knowledge-intuition. The Chris- 
tians are indeed not agreed whether God, as God, the essentia Dei, 
will be visible to bodily eyes. (See, for example, Augustin. Serln. 
ad pop. p. 277, and Buddeus, Conlp. Inst. Th. 1. ii. c. 3, 
 4.) 
But in this difference we again have only the contradiction 
bebveen the abstract and the real Godj the former is certainly not 
an object of vision, but the latter is so. " Flesh and blood is the 
wall between me and Christ, which ,vill be torn a way.. . . . . There 
everything ,vill be certain, For in that life the eyes ,vill see, the 
mouth taste, and the nose smell it j the treasure will shine into the 
soul and life...... Faith will cease, and I shall hehold ,vith my 
eyes."-Luther (T. ix. p. 595). It is clear from this again, that 
God. as he is an object of religious sentiment, is nothing else than a 
product of the imagination. The heavenly beings are super- 
sensuous sensuous, inlmaterial nlaterial beings, i. e., beings of the 
imagination j but they are like God, nay, identical with God, 
consequently God also is a supersensuous sensuous, an immaterial 
material being. 



 18. 


The contradiction in tlw Sacr(tinents is tlte contradiction of natu/J'- 
alisn
 {tnd s'llpernahl'i'olism, In the first place the natural qualities 
of ,vater are pronounced essential to Baptislu. "
i quis dixerit 
aqtuam verain et J(ftt1.lralen
 non esse de neceRsitate Baptismi atque 
ideo verba ilIa don1Ïni nostri J esu Christi: Nisi quis renatus fuerit 
ex aqua et Spiritu sancto, ad metaluorpham aliquanl detorserit, 
anathema sit.-Concil. Trident. (Sessio vii. Can. ii. de Bapt.) 
De substa,ntin ln
jus sacranlenti sunt ve'rbu'ln et elenLent'll'in. ...... 
N on ergo in olio liguU'l'e potest consecrari baptisluus nisi in aqua.- 
Petrus Lomb. (1. iv. dist. 3, c. 1, c. 5). Ad certitudineJu haptismi 
requiritur luajor quanl fu/nÙts guttae quantitas. ...... N ecesse est ad 
valorem baptislui fieri contactltm pltY8icum inter aquanl et corpus 
baptizati, ita ut non sufficiat, vestes tantum ipsius aqua tingi. ....,. 
Ad certitudinem baptisnli requiritur, ut saltenl tali
 pars corporis 
abluatur, ratione cujus 1101110 
olet dici vere ablutus, v. G, colhuu, 
humeri, pectus et jJ)'((;esertÙn ('(f]Jut.-Theolog. Scho1. (P. )Iezger. 
Aug. Vinel. 1695. T. iv. pp. 230, 231). AqlUl'in, e(/'Jnf}7le veranL ac 
nc(;tlt'i'ale1n in baptismo adhihelldam esse, exemplo Joannis...... 
non n1Ïnus vero et Apostolorum Act. viii. 36, x. 47, patet.-F. 
Buddeus (COlTI. Inst. Th. dog. 1. iv. c. i. 
 l5)." Thus watei' 
is essential. But no'v conles the negation of the natural qualities 



APPENDIX. 


317 


of water. The significance of Baptisnl is not the natural power 
of water, hut the supernatural, ahnighty power of the \V orcl of 
God, who instituted the u:::)e of ,vater as a sacranlent, and now by 
nleans of this clelnent iInparts hiln:::;clf to man in a supernatural, 
miraculous manner, but who could ju:.;t as ,veIl have cho
en any 
other element in order to produce the sanle effect. So Luther, for 
example, says: "U nderstand the distinction, that Baptisln is quite 
another thing than all other ,vater, not on account of its natural 
quality, but because here sOllwthing Inore noble is added. For God 
hiInself brings hither his glory, power, and lnight.,... ,as St. Augus- 
tine also hath taught: 'acceJat verlJunl ad elmnentulll et fit sacra- 
mentum.'" " Baptize them in the nalne of the Father, &c. \Vater 
without these ,vords is mere ,vater. ...... 'Vho will call the baptism 
of the Father, Son, and IIoly Ghost mere water1 Do we not see 
'what sort of spice God puts into this water 1 \Vhen sugar is thrown 
into water it is no longer water, but a costly claret or other bever- 
age. '\Vhy then do we here separate the word frOln the ,vater and 
say, it is mere water; as if the word of God, yea, God himself, were 
not with and in the ,vater. ,..... Therefore, the ,vater of Baptisln is 
such a ,vater as takes away sin, death, and unhappiness, helps us in 
heaven and to everlasting life. It is becollle a precious sugared 
water, aì'o7naticunL, and restorative, since God has n1.Ïngled hiInself 
therewith."-Luther (T. xvi. p, 103). 
As with the ,vater in Baptislll, which sacrament is nothing without 
water, though thi:s water is nevertheless in it
elf indifferent, so is it 
,vith the wine and Lread in the Eucharist, even in Catholicism, 
,vhere the substance o
' bread and wine is destroyed by the power 
of the Alrnighty. ".Li\.ccidentia eucharistica tmndiu continent 
Christum, quamdiu retinent illud temperamentum, cum quo con- 
naturaliter panis et vini substantia permaneret: ut econtra, quando 
tanta fit temperamenti dissolutio, illorunlque corruptio, ut sub iis 
substantia panis et vini naturaliter remanere non posset, desinunt 
continere ChristuIll."-Theol. Schol. (
Iezger. 1. c. p.292.) That is 
to say: so long as the bread renlains bread, so long does the bread 
remain flesh; when the bread is gone, the flesh is gone. Therefore 
a due portion of bread, at least enough to render bread recognisable 
as such, must be present, for consecration to be po
sible. (Ib. p. 
284,,) For the rest, Catholic transubtitantiation, the conversio 
realis et physic(IJ totius ]Janis in corpus Ckristi, is only a consistent 
continuation of the n1iracles of the Old and New Testalnents. By 
the transformation of water into wine, of a staff into a serpent, of 
stones into brooks (Ps. cxiv.), by these biblical transubstantiations 
the Catholics eXplained and proved the turning of bread into flesh. 
lIe who does not sturnble at those tram.;forlnatiolls, has no right, no 
re
son to hetiitate at accepting this. The Protestant doctrille of 



318 


APPENDIX. 


the Lord's Supper is not less in contradiction with reason than the 
Catholic. "The body of Christ cannot be pa.rtaken otherwise than 
in two ways, spiritually or bodily. Again, this bodily partaking 
cannot be visible or perceptible," i. e., is not bodily, "else no bread 
would remain. Again, it cannot be mere bread; otherwise it would 
not be a bodily comn1union of the body of Christ, but of bread. 
Therefore the bread broken must also be truly and corporeally the 
body of Christ, although invisibly" (i. e., incorporeallJ).-Luther 
(T. XLX. p. 203). The difference is, that the Protestant gives no 
explanation concerning the lIwde in "which bread can be flesh and 
"wine blood. " Thereupon we stand, believe, and teach, that the body 
of Christ is truly and corporeaHy taken and eaten in the Lord'::; 
Supper. But how this takes place, or how he is in the bread, ,ve 
know not, and are not bound to know."-Id. (ut sup. p. 393,) 
"He who will be a Christian must not ask, as our fanatics and 
factionaries do, how it can be that bread is the body of Christ and 
wine the blood of Christ."-Id. (T. xvi. p.220.) "Cum retineamus 
doctrinau1 de praesentia corporis Christi, quid opus est quaerere de 
modo
"-l\lelancthon (Vita l\Iel. Call1erarius, Ed. Strobel. Halae, 
1777. p. 44G). Hence the Protestants as ,veIl as the Catholics took 
refuge in Omnipotence, the gI"ëtnd source of idcas contr
_tdictory to 
reason.-(Concord. Sumnl. Beg. Art. 7. Aff. 3. Negat. 13. See 
also Luther, e. g. T. xix. p. 400.) 


An instructive exan1ple of theological incolnprehellsibleness and 
supernaturalness is afforded by the distinction, ill relation to the 
Eucharist (Concordienb. SUlllm. Beg, art, 7), between partaking 
with the mouth and partaking in a fleshly or natural manner. 
" \Ve believe, teach, and confess that the body of Christ is taken in 
the bread and wine, not alone spiritually by faith, but also with the 
nlouth, yet not in a Capernaitic, but a supernatural heavenly man- 
ner, for the sake of sacr<:\,lYwntal union." "Probe lmnlque discrimen 
inter manducationeln or(de7}
 et naluralem tenendum e.st. Etsi 
enim oralem manducationem ad:3eramus atque propugnemus, natu- 
ralem tamen non a(hnittilnus. ...... Onlnis equidem manducatio 
naturalis etiam oralis est. sed non vicissinl oralis 'ìnanducatio statim 
est n(ttu1'nlis....... U nicus ita que licet sit actus, uuicumque 
01'gan-urn, quo panenl et corpus Christi, itClnque vinunl et sallgui- 
nem Christi accipimus, modus (yes, truly, the 7Jwde) nihilominus 
niaximopere differt, cunl panem et vinum modo naturali et sensibili, 
COI1)ll
 et 
anguinem Christi 8tmul equidel1
 c'urn pane et vino, at 1ìwdo 
sllperJ
atwrali et insensibili, qui adeo etimn a nemine Inortaliuln 
(nor, assuredly, by any God) explicare potest, revera inle'J'Ùn 
et ore corporis accipÏronu8."-J o. :Fr. Buddeus (1. c. Lib. v. c, i. 

 1 t5). 



APPENDIX. 


319 



 19. 


Dogrna (tnd .J1ora1ity, Flâth and Love, contra,diet each other in 
Christianity, It is true that God, the olÜect of faith, is in him- 
self the idea of the species in a Inyst.ical garb-the cornmon 
Father of men-and so far love to God is mystical love to man. 
But God is not only the universal being; he is also a peculiar, 
personal being, distinguished fronl Love. Where the being is dis- 
tinguished frOlll love arises arba;'a;'i,wss. Love acts fron1 necesHity, 
personality fronl will. PerHonality proyes it::;elf as such only by 
arbitrariness; personality seeks d01ninion, is greedy of glory; it 
de
ires only to assert itself, to enforce its own authority. The 
llighest worship of God as a pe1"sunal being, is therefore the wor- 
ship of God as an absolutely unlimited, arhitrary being. Per- 
sonality, as such, is indifferent to all substantial detern1Ìnations 
which lie in the nature of things; inherent necessity, the coercion 
of natural qualities, appears to it a constraint. Here ,ve have tbe 
mystery of Christian love, The love of God, as the predicate of 
a perHonal being, has here tbe significance of grace, fayour: God iH 
a gracious Juaster, as in J udaisIll he was a severe nlaster. Grace 
is arbitrary love,-love which does not act fr0111 an inward neces- 
sity of the nature, but which is equally capable of not doing what 
it does, which could, if it "\vould, condenln its object; thus it is a 
groundleRs, unessential, arhitrary, absolutely subjective, merely 
personal love, "He hath mercy on WhOlll he will have mercy, and 
wh01n he .wil1 he hardeneth. (Rom. ix. 18.) . . . . ., The king 
does what he will. So is it with the will of God. He has perfect 
right and full power to do with us and all creatures as he will. 
And no wrong is done to us. If His will had a measure or 
rule, a law, ground, or cause, it would not be the divine will. 
For what He wills is right, because He wills it. 'Yhere there 
is faith and the Holy Spirit ...... it is believed that God would 
be good and kind even if He consigned all men to daulna- 
tion. ' Is not Esau Jacob's brother? said the Lord. Yet I have 
loved Jacob and hated Esau.'''-Luther (T. xix. pp. 83, 87, 90, 
91, 97). 'Vhere love is understood in this sense, jealous watch 
is kept that nlan attribute nothing to himself as 111erit, that the 
merit may lie with t.he divine personality alone; there every idea 
of necessity is carefully disn1Ìssed, in order, through the feeling of 
obligation and gratitude, to be able to adore and glorify the per- 
sonality exclusively. The Jews deified the pride of ancestry; the 
Christians, on the other hand, interpreted ànd transformed the 
Jewish aristocratic principle of hereditary nobility into the demo- 
cratic principle of nobility of merit. The Jew llHtkes salvation 



320 


APPENDIX. 


depend on birth, the Catholic on the merit of 'works, the Protestant 
on the lnerit of faith. But the idea of obligation and merito- 
riousness allies itself only ,vith a deed, a ,york, which cannot he 
c1eman(led of me, or ,vhich does not necessarily proceed from nlY 
nature. The .works of the poet, of the philosopher, can be regarded 
in the light of lllerit only as considered externally. They are 
works of genius-inevitable products: the poet 'lnust bring forth 
poetry, the philosopher 'lnust philosophize. They have the highest 
satisfaction in the activity of creation, apart from any collateral 
or lùterior rurpo
e. And it is just so with a truly noble nloral 
action. To the nlan of noble feeling, the noble action is natural: 
he does not hesitate whether he should do it or not, he does not 
place it in the scales of choice j he 'lìUlst do it. Only he 'who so 
acts is a man to be confided in. l\Ieritoriousness always involves 
the notion that a thing is done, so to speak, out of luxury, not out 
of necessity. The Christians indeed celeLrateJ the highest act in 
their religion, the act of God becon1Ïng nlan, as a ,york of love. 
But Christian love in so far as it reposes on faith, on the idea of God 
as a lnaster, a Dominus, has the significance of an act of grace, of 
a love in itself superfluous. A gracious nlaster is one 'who foregoes 
l1Ìs rights, a master who does out of graciousness ,vhat, as a master, 
he is not bound to do-what goes Leyond the strict idea of a 
mastf'r. To God, as a master, it is not even a duty to do good to 
man j he has even the right-for he is a master bound by no law- 
to annihilate nlan if he will. In fact, lnercy is optional, non-neces- 
sary love, love in contradiction with the essence of love, love 
,vhich is not an inevitable manifestation of the nature, love which 
the master, the subject, the person, (personality is only an abstract, 
modern expression for sovereignty,) distinguishes from himself as a 
predicate, which he can either have or not have, without ceasing 
to be hilnself. This internal contradiction necessarily lnanifested 
itself in the life, in the practice of Christianity; it gave rise to the 
practical separation of the subject from the predicate, of faith 
ii'om love. Å s the love of God to man was only an act of grace, 
so also t.he love of man to luan wa
 only an act of favour or grace 
on the part of faith. Christian love is the graciousness of faith, 
as the love of God is the gl'aciousness of personality or supremacy. 
(On the divine arbitrariness, see also J. A. Ernesti's treatise 
previously cited: "Vindiciæ arbitrii divini.") 
Fa1.th hns within it a IIwliy'ltant principle. Christian faith, and 
nothing else, is the ultÎInate ground of Christian persec:ution and 
destruction of heretics, Faith recognises mnn only on condition 
that he recognises God, i. e., faith itself. Faith is the honour which 
man renders to God. And this honour is due unconùitionally. To 
faith the basis of all duties is faith in God: faith is the absolute 



APPEXDIX. 


321 


duty; duties to llleH are only derivative, subordinate. The unbe- 
liever is thus an uutlaw *-a lllall worthy of exterlllinatioll. That 
which denie
 God IllUst be itself denied. The highest crinle is the 
criule laesae majest{tfis Dei. To faith God is a personal being-the 
suprelnely personal, inviolahle, privileged being. The acnle of per- 
sonality is honour; hence an injury towards the highest personality 
is necessarily the highest crime. The lwnou1' of God cannot be dis- 
ayowed as an accidental, rude, anthropoIllorphic conception. For 
is not the personality, even the existence of God, a sensuous, 
anthroponlol1 ,hic conception 1 J....Jet those "who renounce the honour 
be consistent enough to renounce the personality. FroIll the idea 
of personality results the idea of honour, and from this again the 
idea of religious offences. "Quicunque l\IagistratiLus lllale precatus 
fuerit, pro eorunl arhitrio poenas luito; quicunque vero idmll bcelus 
erga Deulll adluiserit.... ..lap1'dibas blaspltemiae carW3a obruitur."- 
(Lev. xxiv. 15, 1 G. See also Deut. xii. 'whence the Cat.holics 
deduce the right to kill heretics. Boehnler, 1. c. 1. v. T. yii. 

 4-1.) "Eos autem merito torqueri, qui DeuDI nesciunt, ut irn- 
pios, ut injustos, nisi prof anus nemo deliberat: quum parenteDI 
omnium et donLinurn ornniun
 non 1ninus seeler.is sit ignmYl/}'e, quam 
lned.e1'e."-l\Iinucii Fe!. Oct. c. 33. "Ubi erunt legis praecepta 
divinae, quae dicunt: honora patreIn et Illatrem, si vocabulunl 
patris, quod in homine honorari praecipitur, 'i'n fleo Ùnpune vio- 
latur ?" -Cypriani Epist. 73 (cd. Gersdorf.) "Cur enim, cum datum 
sit divinitus hOlnini liberum al'bitrium, adulteria legibus puniantur 
et sacrilegia pern1Ïttantur
 Anfide7liJ non se1'vare levius est animanL 
fleo, qu(un fe1nina/Jn viro?"-Augustinus (de correct. DOllatist. lib. 
ad Bonifacium, c. 5). " Si hi qui numnlOS adulterant nlorte nnllc- 
tantur, quid de illis statuendum censem/us, qui fidelJ
 pervertere 
conantur?"-Paulns Cortesius (in Sententias (Petri L.) iii. 1. dist. 
vii.) "Si eniln illustrem ac praepotenteln virum nequaquam ex- 
honorari a quoquanì licet, et si quisquanì exhonoraverit, decret.is 
legalibus reus sistitur et illjuriarum auctor jure damnatur: quanto 
utiqne 'Jnajo'1"is piltculi C1'Únen est, inju1'iosUJìL quempÙt1n fleo esse 1 
Sernper eniln pel' dignitateIll injurianl perferentis cre
cit culpa 
facientis, quia necesse est, quanto Inajor est persona ('jus qui COlltu- 
IneliaIll patitur, tanto major sit noxa ejus, qui facit." Thus speaks 
Salvianus (de gubernat. Dei, 1. vi. p. 218, edit. cit,)-Salvianus, 
who is calleel lJIagistru'/liJ Episcoporurn, sui saeculi Jere1niam, Serip- 
tOTel)
 Cll1'istiau,issi'fll/ll'7l1:, Orbis christiaui 'Jnayist'iurn. But heresy, 
unbelief in general-heresy is only a definite, lin1Ïtcd unbelief-is 
11aspheIny, and thus is the highest, the most flagitious crÌIlle. Thus 


* " Haereticus usu omnium jurium destitntus est, ut deport.atus." -J. H. Boehmer 
(1. c. 1. v. Tit. vii. 
 2:23. See also Tit. vi.) 
p3 



3 
::) 
"'hi 


APPENDIX. 


to cite only one anlong innulnerable exaluples, J. Oecolampadius 
writes to Servetus: "Dulu non summaIn patientiam prae Ine fero, 
dolens Jesum Christum filiunl Dei sic dehonestari, parum cbrÜ;tiane 
tibi agere videoI'. In aliis lnansuetus ero: in blasphe'lldis quae ill 
Christum, non iteln." (Historia l\Iich. Serveti. H. ab Allwoerden 
Hehllstadii, 1737. p. 13.) ]'01' 'what is blaspheuly1 Every nega- 
tion of an idea, of a definition, in 'which the honour of God, the 
honour of faith is concerned. Servetus fell as a sacrifice to Christian 
faith. Calvin said to Servetus, two hours before hilS death: "Ego 
vero ingenue praefatus, me nunqualll privatas inJurias fuisse per- 
secutuln," and parted frolll hÏ1n vlÏth a sense of being thoroughly 
sustained by the Bible: "ab haeretico hon1Ïne, qui aVTOI-:UrÚl-:pLTo!: 
peccabat, secun(Üun Pau1i praecept
f/7n disce
si. (Ibid. p, 120.) Thus 
it was by no means a personal hatred, though this may have been 
conjoined,-it was a religious hatred which brought Servetus to 
the stake-the hatred which spring
 frolll the nature of unchecked 
faith. Even Melallctholl is known to have approved the execution 
of Servetus. The Swiss theologians, whose opinion was asked by 
the Genevans, very subtilely abstained, in their answer, from men- 
tioning the punishnlent of death;X- but agreed with the Genevans in 
this-" horrendos Serveti errores detestandos esse, severi usque idcirco 
in Servetum animadvertendum." Thus there is no difference as to 
the principle, only as to the lnode of punisillnellt. Even Calvin 
hiInself was so Christian as to desire to alleviate the horrible mode 
of death to which the Senate of Geneva condemned Servetus. (See 
on this subject, e. g. 1\1. Adalni Vita Calvini, p. 90. Vita Bezae, p. 
207. Vitae Theo!. exter. Francof. 1618.) We have therefore to 
consider this execution as an act of general significance-as a work . 
of faith, and that not of Roman Catholic, but of reformed, biblical, 
evangelical faith.-That heretics rnust not be compelled to a pro- 
fession of the faith by force, was certainly lnaintained by 11lost of 
the lights of the church, but there nevertheless lived in them the 
most malignant hatred of heretics. Thus, for example, St. Bernard 
says (Super Cantica, 
 66) in relation to heretics: "Fide
 suadenda 
est, non Ï1nponenda," but he imll1ediately adds: "qumnqumn nlelius 
procul dubio gladio coercerelltur, illius videlicet, qui non sine causa 
gladitun portat,quamillsuunl errorem lllultostrajicerepermittautur." 
If the faith of the present day no longer produces such flagrant 
deeds of horror, this is due only to the fact that the faith of this 


* Very many Christians rejected the punishment of death, but other criminal 
punishments of heretics, such as banishment, confiscation -punishments which 
deprive of life indirectly-they did not find in contradictiun with their Christian 
faith.-Bee on this su1Jject J. H. Boehmer, Jus. Ecel. Protest. 1. v. Tit. vii. e. g. 


 i. 155, 157, 162, 163. 



APPEl\'DIX. 


323 


age is not an uncOlllpr01nising, living faith, but a sceptical, eclectic, 
unbelieving faith, curtailed and IuaÜned Ly the power of art anù 
science. \\
here heretics are no longer burned either in the fires of 
this world or of the other, there faith itself has no longer any fire, 
any vitality. The faith which allows variety of belief renounces its 
divine origin and rank, degrades it:self to a ::;ubjective opinion. It 
i:-; not to Clu'i8tian fititliJ, nut to Cllr-i8tÙu
 love (i. e., love lillâtcd by 
fidtlt)
' no! it is to doubt of CltristicLn j'cÛtll, to tlte victory nf reUg'iou8 
scepticisJ1L, to free-thinkers, to l
eretics, t!tat 'lee O'lce tolC'rauce,fJ'eedollli 
of opinion. It was the heretics, persecuted by the Christian church, 
who alone fought for freedom of conscience. Chri:stian freedom 
is freedOlll in non-e::;:sential
 only: on the fUlldalllental articles off.:"tith 
freedolll is not allowed. \Vhen, however, Christian faith-faith 
considered in distinction frOln love, for faith is not one with love, 
"potestis habere fidenl sine caritate" (Augu."tinusSernl, ad pop. 
 90) 
-is pronounced to be the principle, the ultimate ground of the 
violent deeds of Christians towards heretics (that is, such deeds as 
arose from real belie"ving zeal); it is oLviou::;]y not Iueant that faith 
could have these consequences inlmediatelyand originally, but only 
in its historical developulent. Still, even to the earliest Christians 
the heretic was an antichrist, and necessarily so-" adversus Christum 
sunt haeretici" (Cyprianus, Epist. 76, 
 14, edit. cit.)-accur:sed- 
"apostoli.... ..in epistolis haereticos exsecrati sunt" (Cyprianus, ib. 

 6 )-a lost being, doonled by God to hell and everlasting death. 
" Thou hearest that the tares are already condemned and sentenced 
to the fire. \Vhy then wilt thou lay nlany sufferings on a heretid 
Dost thou not hear that he is already judged to a punishmen, 
heavier than he can bear1 Who art thou, that thou vlÍlt interfere 
and punish him ,vho has already fallen under the punishment of a 
Inore powerful nla,Ster 1 \Vhat would I do again
t a thief already 
sentenced to the gallo-ws 1 ...... God has already cOllllllanded his 
angels, who in his own time will be the executioners of heretics." 
-Luther (T. xvi, p. 132). \Vhen therefore the State, the world, 
became Christian, and ah;o, for that reason, Christianity becalne 
,vorl dIy, the Christian religion a State religion; then it was a neces- 
sary consequence that the condemnation of heretics, which was at 
fir
t only religious or dogInatic, became a political, practical con- 
demnation, and the eternal punislllllent of bell was anticipated by 
temporal puni
hment. If therefore the definition and treatrnent of 
heresy as a punishable crÍIne, is in contradiction with the Christian 
faith, it follows that a Christian king, a Christian State, i:s in con- 
tradiction with it; for a Christian State is that which executes the 
Divine judgulents of faith with the sword, ,vhich nlakes earth a 
heaven to helievers, a hell to unhelievers. "Docuinlus...... pertinere 
ad 'reycs1'eliyiu80s, non sohlIn adnlteria vel homicidia vel hujusmodi 



321 


APPEKDIX. 


alia flagitia seu facinora, verum etimI1 s(wfrileyin seve'J'itate cong'i.ua 
cohibere." -A ugustinus (Epist. ad Dulcitiunl). "I(ings ought thus to 
serve the Lord Christ, by helping with laws that his honour be fur- 
thered. N ow when the temporal magistracy finds scandalous errors, 
,vhereby the honour of the Lord Christ is blasphemed and nlen's sal- 
vation hindered, andaschism arises among the people... ... where such 
false teachers will not be adluonished and cease frOln preaching: there 
ought the temporal magistracy confidently to arm. itself and know 
that nothing else befits its office, but to apply the sword and all force, 
that doctrine lnay be pure and God's service genuine and unperverted, 
and also that peace and unity may be preserved,"-Luther (T. xv. pp. 
110, 111). Let it be further remarked here, that Augustine justi- 
fies the application of coercive measures for the awa.king of Chris- 
tian faith, by urging that the apostle Paul ,vas converted to Chris- 
tianity by a deed of force-a miracle. (De Correct. Donat. c, 6.) 
The intrinsic connexion between tenlporal and eternal, i. e., political 
and spiritual punislul1ent is clear f1'01n this, that the same reasons 
which have been urged against the temporal punishment of heresy, 
are equally valid against the punishment of hell. If heresy or Ull- 
belief cannot be punished here because it is a mere mistake, neither 
can it be puni
hed by God in hell. If coercion is in contradiction 
with the nature of faith, so is hell; for the fear of the terrihle conse- 
q uence of unbelief, the tonnents of hell, urge to belief against 
knowledge and .will. Doehnler, in his Jus Eccl., argues that heresy 
and unbelief should be struck out of the category of crimes, that 
unbelief is only a vithon t1
eologicltrn, a peccatu/J1
 in DelHn. But God, 
in the view of faith, is not only a religious, but a political, 
juridical being, the King of kings, the true head of the State. 
"There is no power but of God,.....it is the minister of God." 
Rorn. xiii. 1, 4. If therefore the juridical idea of luajesty, of kingly 
dignity and honour, applies to God, sin against God, unhelief,l1l"llst 
by consequence COine under the definition of crirne. And as with 
God, so ,vith faith. 'Vhere L<tith is still a truth, and a public truth, 
there no doubt is entertained that it can be denlanded of everyone, 
that everyone is bound to believe. Be it further observed, that 
the Christian Church has gone so far in its hatred against heretics, that 
according to the canon law even the suspicion of heresy is a crinle, 
" ita ut de jure canonico revera C'J'Ùrwn suspecti detur, cujus exist en- 
tialn frustra in jU'i'e civili quaeril1
us."-Boehmer (1. c. v. Tit. vü. 


 23-42). 
Tlw comnwrnd to love enemies extends only to lJersonal enen
ies, 
not to tlte ene}}
ie8 of God, the enen
ies of faith. " Does not the Lord 
Christ conlmand that we should love even our enenlÌes 1 How 
then does David here boast that he hates the asselnbly of the 
wicked, and sits not ,vith the ungodly1......For the sake of the 
person I should love them; but for the sake of the doctrine I shoulLl 



APPENDIX. 


32:) 


hate theIn. And thm; I must hate them or hate God, who COll1- 
nlanch; and wills that we should cleave to his word alone.,. ... \Vhat 
I cannot love with God, I HUlst hate; if they only preach sonle- 
thing which is against God, all love and friendship is destroyed;- . 
thereul!on I hate thee, and do thee no good. For faith lllUst be 
upperlllost, and where the word of God is attacked, hate takes the 
place of love..... .And so David Dleans to say: I hate then1, not 
lJecause they have done injury and evil to Ine and led a had and 
wicked life, Lut because they despise, revile, Llasphelne, falsify, and 
persecute the word of God." "Faith and love are two things. 
Faith endures nothing, love endures all things. Faith curses, love 
blesses: faith seeks vengeance and punishnlent, love seeks for- 
bearance and forgiveness." "Rather than God's ,vord should 
fall and heresy stand, faith would wish all creatures to be flestroyed; 
for through heresy 11len lose God hi11lself."-Luther (T. vi. p, 9-1. 
T. v. pp. 624, 630). See also, on this subject, my treatise in the 
De
ttsches J alab. and A ugustini Enarrat. in Psalm cxxxviii. 
(cxxxix.) As Luther distinguishc:-3 the pe1'son from the enerny of 
God, so Augustine here distinguishes the 1JUtn from the enemy of 
God, from the unbeliever, and says: we should hate the ungodli- 
ness in the Juan, but love the htunanity in hiJn. But what, then, 
in the eyes of faith, is the nlan in distinction fronl faith, man 
.without faith, i. e., without God? N otl1Ïng; for the sum of all 
realities, of all that is worthy of love, of all that is good and essential, 
is faith, as that which alone apprehends and possesses God. It is 
true that nlan as Jüan is the ÏInage of God, but only of the natural 
God, of God as the Creator of Nature. But the Creator is only 
God as he manifests himself outwardly; the true God, God as he 
is in hin1self, the inward essence of God, is the triune God, is espe- 
cially Cltrist. (See Luther T. xiv. pp, 2, 3, and T. xvi. p. .581.) 
And the ÏInage of this true, essential, Christian God, is only the 
believer, the Uhristian. l\Ioreover, nlan is not to be loved for his 
own sake, but for God's. "Diligendus est propter Deun1, Deus vero 
propter se ipSUJll." (.A_ugustinus dl
 doctrina chI'. 1. i. cc. 22, 27.) 
How, then, should the unbelieving man, who has no resemblance 
to the true God, be an object of love 1 



 20. 


Faith separates rnan fro'lì
 man, puts in tlte place of tlte naturral 
unity founded in N aturre and Love, a supernatu1'al unity - 
the unity of Faith. "Inter Christianum et gentilem non fides 
tnntUTlL debet, sed etia.nl vitn distinguere. ...... N olite, ait A po- 
stolns, jUgUl1l ducere cum infidf'lihus, ...... Sit ergo inter nos et illos 
In(LXi"'ta sepct'l"atio,"-HierollymuR (Epist. Cælantiæ nlatronæ). ...... 
"Prope nihil gravius quam copulari alienigeniae. ...... Nam CUIll 



3:26 


APPEXDIX. 


ipsu)n conjngilun velan1Ïne sacerdotali et benedictione sanctificari 
oporteat: qnonwdo polest eo'njllgiltlJ
 did, ubi non est./iclei ('oìteordiaJ I 
. . . Snepe pleriq ue ca pti aInore fen1Ïnarmn fidenl snanl prodiderunt."- 
Al11brosius. (Ep. 70, Lib. ix,) " N OIl eniIll licet christiano CUlll 
gentili vel judaeo inire cODjugium."-Petrus L. (1. iv. dist. 39, c. 1). 
....L\..nd this separation is by no means unLiblica1. On the contrary, 
we find that, in support of it, the Fathers appeal directly to the 
Bible. The well-known passage of the apostle Paul concerning 
Jnarriage between heathens and Christians rela.tes only to Inarriages 
which had taken place before conversion, not to those which ,vere 
yet to be contracted. Let the reader refer to what Peter Lonl- 
bard says in the book already cited. "The first Christians did not 
ackno,v1edge, did not once listen to, all tho
e relatives who sought 
to turn them away fi'Olll the hope of the heavenly re,vard This 
they did through the power of the Gospel, for the sake of which all 
love of kindred was to be despised; inaslnuch as ...... the brother- 
hood ofOhrist far surpa.')sed nåtura1 brotherhood. To us the Father- 
land and a common nanle is not so dear, but that we have a horror 
even of our parents, if they seek to a.dvise s01nething aga.inst the 
Lord."-G. Arnold (\Vahre Abbild. del' erstell Christen. B. iv. c. 2). 
"Qui amat patrelll et nlatrenl plus quanl nle, non est nle dignus 
1\Iatth. x. ...... in hoc vos non agnosco parentes, sed hostes ...... 
Alioquin quid n1Íhi et vobis 1 Quid a vobis habeo nisi peeeaturn et 
miserian
 ? "-Bernardns (Epist. iii. Ex persona Heliae nlonachi 
ad parentes suos). "Etsi Ï1npium est, cOlltemnere matrenl, con- 
tenlnere talnen propter Christunl piissinlunl est,"-Bernhardus (Ep. 
104. See also Epist, 351, ad H ugonem novitium). "Audi sententianl 
lsidori: multi canonicorurn, monachorum ...... temporali salute 
suorum parentum perdunt animas suas ...... Servi Dei qui paren- 
turn suorum utilitateln procurant a Dei amore se separant."-De 
lIIodo bene vivendi (S. vii,) "Ornnem h01ninenl,fidelem judica tuum. 
es
e fratreul." (IbiJ. Sermo 13.) AlnLrosius dicit, knge plus nos 
debere diligere filios quos de fonte lev((/U
'us, qU((,Jn quos ca,rnaliter 
genuimus."-(Petrus L. 1. iv. dist. 6, c. 5, acldit. Henr. ab Vurim,) 
" Infantes nascuntur cum peccato, nec fÌunt haeredes vitae aeternae 
sine ren1Ï::,sione peccati. ...... Cum igitur dubium non sit, in infan- 
tibus esse peccatulll, debet aliquod esse di:serilllen infanti?nn Ethni- 
C01'U1n, qui rrtanent rei, et Úlfi
(;ntiun
 in Eeelesia, f}n-i recipiuntur a 
fleo per nlillisterilun."-
Ielancthon (Loci de bapt, inf, Arguln. II. 
Compare 'with this the passage above cited from Buddeus, as a proof 
of the narrowness of the true believer's love), " U t Episcopi vel 
Clerici in eos, qui Catlwliei Cltristiani 1LOlt sunt, etiam si eonòanguinei 
fuerint, nec per donationes rerum suarum aliqnid conferant."- 
Conci!. Carthag. III, can, 13. (Sunlnla Carranza.) "Ounl ltaereticis 
nee O1'ctndunlJ, nee psalleltdu'III,.\7-Concil. Carthag. IV. can, 72 (ibid.) 



APPENDIX. 


. 


327 


Faith has the significa.nce of religion, love only that of'lJwroIi'ty. 
This ha:-3 ùeen declared very decidedly by Protestantisln. The 
doctrine that love does not justify in the 
ight of God
 but only 
faith, expresses nothing further than that love has no religiou
 power 
and significance. (A pol. Augsb. Confess. art. 3. Of Love and 
the Fulfilment of the Law.) It is certainly here said: "\Yhat the 
scholastic writers teach concerning the love of God is a dream, and 
it i
 impm;sible to know and love God before we kno-w and lay hold 
on nlercy through fitith. For then first does God Leconte objectuln 
((;/lutbile, a loveable, blissful object of contemplation." Thus here 
nlercy, love is made the proper object of faith. And it is true that 
faith is immediately distinguished from love only in this, that faith 
places out of itself what love places in itself. "We believe that 
our justification, salvation, and consolation, lie out of ourselves."- 
Luther (T. xvi. p, 497. See also T. ix. p. 587). It is true that faith 
in the Protestant sense, is faith in the forgivpness of sins, faith in 
mercy, faith in Christ, as the God who suffered and died for men, 
so that man, in order to attain everla
ting salvation, has nothing 
further to do on his side than believingly to accept this sacrifice of 
God for hiul. But it is not as love only that God is an object of faith. 
On the contrary, the characteristic object of faith as fèâth, i
 God as 
a subject, a person. And is a God who accords no merit to man, 
who clainls all exclusively for hilllself, who watches jealously over his 
honour-is a self-interested, egoistic God like this a God of love 1 
The 'Ilw'i'ality whicl
 proceeds frU'1l1 faith lUtS for its principle and 
C'i.itel'iun only the contradiction of Þl atU'i'e, of man. As the highest 
object of faith is that which most contradicts reason, the Eucharist, 
so necessarily the highest virtue of the morality which is true and 
obedient to faith, is that which most contradicts Nature. Dog- 
m(ttic miracles have therefore rnwral miracles as their consequence. 
Antinatural morality is the twin sister ùf supernatural faith. As 
faith vanquishes Nature outside of man, so the morality of faith 
vanquishes Nature within lnan. This practical supernaturalism, the 
SUlllmit of which is "virginity, the si
ter of the angels, the queen of 
virtues, the lnother of all good" (see A. V. Buchers: Geistliches 
Suchverloren. Sälllmtl. W. B. vi. 151) has been especially deve- 
loped by Catholicism; for Protestantislll has held fast only the 
principle of Christianity, and has arbitrarily eliminated its logical 
consequences, it has elubraced only Christian faith and not Christian 
III orality. In faith, Protestantisln has brought Ulan Lack to the 
staud- point of primitive Christianity; but in life, in practice, in mo- 
rality, it has restored him_ to the pre-Christian, the Old Testament, 
the heathen, adamitic, natural stand-point. God instituted mar- 
riage in paradise; therefore even in the present day, even to Chris- 
tians, the comllmnd: l\Tultiply! is valid. Christ advises those only 



328 


APPEXDIX. 


not to lnarry ,yho "can receive" this higher rule. Chastity is a 
supernatural gift; it cannot therefore be expected of everyone. 
But is not faith also a supernatural gift, a special gift of God, a 
miracle, as Luther says innuluerable tÍ1ues, and is it not neverthe- 
less cOlumanded to us an I Are not all nlen included in the 
cOllunand to mortify, blind and contemn the natural reason 7 Is 
not the tendency to believe and accept nothing which contradicts 
reason, as natural, as strong, as necessary in us, as the sexual 
impulse 1 If we ought tv pray to God fur faith because by ourselves 
,ve are too weak to believe, why should we not on the :5an1e ground 
entreat God for chastity 1 'Yill he deny u
 this gift if "\ve earnestly 
Ï1nplore hinl for it 7 Never! Thus we nlay regard chastity as a 
universal conlman\l equally with faith, for what we cannot do of 
ourselves, we can ùo through God, 'Vhat speaks against chastity 
speaks against faith also, and what speaks for faith, speaks for 
chastity. One stands and falls with the other; with a supernatural 
faith is necessarily associated a supernatural ]llorality. Protestant- 
ism tore this bond asun( leI': in faith it affirm.ed Christianity; in 
life, in practice, it denied Christianity, acknowledged the autollolUY 
of natural reason, of nlan,-restored :l11an to his original rights. 
Protestantisnl rejected celibacy, chastity, not because it contradicted 
the Bi1le, but because it contradicts nlau and Nature. " !-1e who 
"\vill 1e single renounces the nanlC of nlall, and proves or nULkes 
himself an angel or spirit. ..,... It is pitiable folly, to 'yonder that 
a man takes a wife, or for any- one to be ashamed of doing so, since 
no one wonders that men are accustomed to eat and drink."- 
Luther (T. xix. pp, 368, 3(9). Does this unhelief as to the possi- 
bility and reality of chastity accord ,vith the BillIe, \vhere celihacy 
is eulogized as a laudable and consequently a possible, attainable 
state 1 No! It is in direct contradiction with the Bible. Pro- 
testantism, in consequence of its practical spirit, and therefore hy its 
own inherent force, repudiated Christian supranaturalislll in the 
sphere of nlorality. Christianity exists for it only in faith-not 
in law, not in Inorality, not in the State. It is true that love (the 
compendiulll of morality) belongs essentially to the Christian, so that 
where there is no love, where faith doe
 not attest itself by love, 
there is no faith, no Christianity. Nevertheless love is only the 
outward manifestation of faith, only a consequence, and only human. 
" :Faith alone deals with God," "faith nlakes us goùs;" love Iuakes 
us rnerely Inen, and as faith alone is for God, so God is for faith 
alone, i. e., faith alone is the divine, the Christian in man. To faith 
belongs eternal life, to love only this telnporal life. "Long before 
Christ caIne Goil gave this temporal, earthly life to the whole world, 
and said, that Ulan should love Him and his neighbour. After that 
he gave the world to his Son Chri-;t, that we through and by hinl 



APPENDIX. 


32D 


should have eternal life. ...,.. l\Ioses and the law belong to this life, 
but for the other life we must have the Lord,"-Luther (T. xvi. p. 
4J9). Thus although love belongs to the Christian, yet is the 
Christian a Christian only through this, that he believes in Christ. 
It is true that to selTe one's neighbour, in whatever way, rank or 
calling, is to serve God. nut the God ,vholn I serve in fulfilling a 
,vorldly or natural office, is only the universal, mundane, natural, 
l)l'e-christian God. Governnlent, the State, nlarriage, existed prior 
to Christianity, was an institution, an ordinance of God, in ,vhich 
he did not as yet reveal hÎ1nself a8 the true God, as Christ. Christ 
has nothing to do with all these 'worldly things; they are external, 
indifferent to hinl. nut for this very reason, every worldly calling 
and rank is cOlnpatible with Christianity; for the true, Christian 
service of God is faith alone, and this can be exercised everywhere. 
Protestantism binds Illen only in faith, all the rest it leaves free; but 
only because all the rest is external to faith. 
It is true that we are bound Ly the conlnlandnwnts of Christian 
Jllorality, as, for example, ".cl. venge not yourselves," &c., but they 
have validity for us only as private, not as public persons. The 
world is governed according to its o,vn laws. Catholicism'
 mingled 
together the worldly and spiritual kingdoms," i, e., it sought to 
govern the world by Christianity. But" Christ did not conle on 
earth to interfere in the governluent of the Emperor Augustus 
and teach hiln how to reign."-Luther (T. xvi. p. 49). 'Yhere 
worldly government begins, Christianity ends; there worldly justice, 
the sword, war, litigation, prevail. As a Christian I let my cloak 
be stolen from me without resistance, but as a citizen I seek to 
recover it hy law. "Evangeliunl non abolet jus naturæ."-l\Ielanc- 
thon (de vindicta Loci. Sce also on this subject M. Chelnnitii Loci 
thcol. de vindicta). In fact, Protestantism is the practical negation 
of Christianity, the practical assertion of the natural nlan. It is 
true that Protestantism also commands the nlortifying of the fle
L, 
the negation of the natural man; but apart frOln the fact that this 
negation has for Protestantism no religious significance and efficacy, 
does not justify, i, e" l1lake acceptable to God, procure salvation; 
the negation of the flesh in Protesttìntisln, is not distinguished from 
that lÍInitation of the flesh which natural reason and morality 
enjoin on nlan. The necessary practical consequences of the Chris- 
tian faith, Protestantism has relegated to the other ,vodel, to heaven 
-in other words, has denied them. In heaven first ceases the 
worldly stand-point of Protestantism; there we no longer marry, 
there fir:::;t 'we are new creatures; but here everything reJnains as of 
old" until that life; there the external life will be changed, for 
Christ did not come to change the creature."-Luther (T. xv. 
p. (2). Here we are half heathens, half Christians j half citizen'S 



330 


APPEXDIX. 


of the earth, half citizens of heaven. Of this diyision, this disunity, 
this chasnl, Catholicisnl knows nothing. "Vhat it denies in heaven, 
i. e., in faith, i
 denies also, as far as possible, on earth, i. e., in 
nlorality. "Grandis igitur virtu tis est et sollicitate diligentiae, 
s'u.perctre qnod nctta sis: in carne non carnaliter' vive1'e, tecum pug- 
nare quotidie."-Hieronymus (Ep. Furiae Rom. nobilique viduae). 
"Quanto igitur natul'a amplius vincitur' et prenlÍtur, tanto Inajor 
gratia infunditur."-Thomas à K. (inlit. 1. iü. c. 54). "Esto robustus 
tam in agendo, quam in patiendo natu-rne contraria" (ibid. c. 49). 
"Beatus ille homo, qui propter te, Domine, Olnnibus creaturis licen- 
tiam abeundi tribuit, qui Itaturae viln facit et concupiscentias carnis 
fervore spiritus crucifigit " (c. 48). " Aclhuc proh dolor! vivit in me 
verus lwnw, non est totus crucifixus" (ibid. c. 34:, 1. iii. c. 19, 1. ii. 
c. 12). And these dicta by no means emanate simply froIll the 
pious individuality of the author of the work de Im.itatiune Cltristi; 
they express the genuine morality of Catholicism, that morality 
which the saints attested by their lives, and which was sanctioned 
even by the Head of the Church, otherwise so worldly. Thus it 
is said, for example, in the Canonizatio S. Bernhardi Abbatis per 
Alexanùnull papam III. anno Ch. 1164:. Litt. apost.... '" prinlo ad. 
Praelatos Eccles. Gallic.: "In aiflictio'ne vero c011Joris sui usque adeo 
sibi mundum, seque munclo reddidit crucifixum, ut confidamus mar- 
tyrum quoque eum merita obtinere sanctorum etc." It was owing 
to this purely negative moral principle, that there could be enunciated 
"\vithin CatholicisIll itself the gross opinion that lnere Illal'tyrùonl, 
without the Illotive of love to God, obtains heavenly blesseduess. 
It is true that Catholicism. also in practice denied the supra- 
naturalistic morality of Christianity; but its negation has an essen- 
tiully different significance frOlll that of Protestantism; it is a 
negation de .facto but not de ju;re. The Catholic denied in life 
what he ought to have afÌÌrIlled ill life,-as, for exaluple, the vow of 
chastity,-what he desired to affirIll, at least if he was a religious 
Catholic, but which in the nature of things he could not affirm. 
Thus he gave validity to the la,v of Nature, he gratified the flesh, 
in a word, he "\vas a man, in contradiction with his es
ential cha- 
racter, his religious principle and conscience. Adkuc lJrolt dolor! 
vivit in lIne 'l)erus 11O'Jno. Catholicisrll has proved to the world that 
the supernatural principle of faith in Christianity, applied to life, 
n)ade a principle of morals, has immoral, radically COITupting con- 
sequences. This experience Protestantism made use of, or rather 
this experience called forth Protet;tantism. It made the illegiti- 
nlate, practical negation of Chri
tianity-inegitilnate in the sense 
of trne Catholicism, though not in that of the degenerate church- 
the law, the n()IW
 of life. Yon cannot in life, at least in this life, 
be Christians, peculiar, superlluUlaIl Leings, therefore ye ought not 



APPENDIX. 


331 


to be such. ..il.nd it legitin1Ïzcd this negation of Christianity before 
its still Christian conscience, by Chri
tianity itself, pronounced it to 
be Christianj-no ,vonder, therefore, that now at last modern Chris- 
tianity not only practically but theoretically represents the total 
negation of Christianity as Christianity. \Yhen, however, Pro- 
testantislll is designated as the contradiction, Catholicism as the 
unity of faith and practice, it is obvious that in both cases we refer 
only to the essence, to the principle. 
Ji'aitlb sacrifices rnctn to God. Human sacrifice helongs to the 
very idea of r{'ligion. Bloody human sacrifices only dramatize this 
idea. "By faith Abraham offered up Isaac."-I-Ieb. xi. 17. "Quanto 
major Abrahmn, qui unicum filiunl voluntate jugulwrit......J epte 
obtulit virginmn filiam et iclcirco in enUllleratione sanctorum ab 
Apostolo ponitur."-Hieronynlus (Epist. J uliano). On the hUlnan 
sacrifices in the Jewish religion we refer the reader to the works of 
Daumer and Ghillany. In the Christian religion also it is only 
blood, the sacrifice of the Son of l\Ian, which allays God's anger and 
reconciles hilll to man. Therefore a pure, guiltless luan nl ust fall a 
sacrifice. Such blood alone is precious, such alone has reconciling 
power. And this blood, shed on the cross for the allaying of the 
divine anger, Christians partake in the Lord's Supper, for the 
strengthening and sealing of their faith. But why is the blood 
taken uncleI' the form of wine, the flesh under the forn1 of bread 1 
That it may not appear as if Christians ate real hUlnan flesh 
and drank hlunan blood, that the natural man mar not shrink 
from the mysteries of the Christian faith. "Etenim ne hunlana 
infirmitas esum carnis et potum sanguinis in sumptione lwrreret, 
Christus velari et palliari illa duo VOlU1.t speciebus panis et vini.':- 
TIernard (edit. cit. pp. 1 
9-191). " Sub alia aute]n specie tribus de 
causis carnem et sanguinenl tradit Christus et deinceps sunlendurn 
instituit. U t fides scil. haberet rneritum, quae est de his quae 
non videntur, quod fides non habet meritum, ubi humana ratio 
praebet experiInentum. Et ideo etiam ne ablwrl'eret anirnus quod 
cerlleret oculus; quod non liabe7nus in usu cctrnmn crudam, c01nedere 
et saJ
[J1âneJì
 bibere......Et etimn ideo ne ab ,incr{ldulis treliyioni 
ckr.istictnae insultaretur. U nde Augustinus: Nihil rationaùilius, 
quam ut sanguinis silnilituclinenl suma1nus, ut et ita veritas non 
desit et tridiculum nullum fiat a [Joganis, quod cruorem occisi 
hominis bil,anlus."-Petrus Lomb. (Sent. lib. iv. dist. ü. c. 4.) 
But as the bloody hUlllan sacrifice, while it expresses the utmost 
abnegation of nlan, is at the same time the highest assertion of his 
value ;--for only because hUlnan life is regarded as the highest, 
becam
e the sacrifice of it is the most painful, costs the greatest 
conq uest over feeling, is it offered to God ;-so the contradiction of 
the Eucharist with hUlnan nature is only apparent. Apart from 



332 


APPEKDIX. 


the fact that flesh and blood are, as St, Bernard says, clothpd with 
1n'ead and wine, i. e., that in truth it is not flesh but bread, not 
hlood but wine, ,vhich is partaken,-the mystery of the Eucharist 
resolves itself into the nlystery of eating and drinking. " AJI 
ancient Christian doctors...... teach that the body of Christ is not 
taken spiritllalJy alone by faith, which happens also out of the 
Sacranlents, but also corporeally; not alone by believers, by the 
pious, but also by unworthy, unbelieving, false and wicked Chris- 
tians." "There are thus two ,vays of eating Christ's flesh, one 
8piritual. . . . . . such spiritual eating however is nothing else than 
faith... ... The other way of eating the body of Christ is to eat it 
corporeally or sacrmnentally." (Concordienb. Erkl. art. 7.) "The 
mouth eats the hody of Christ bodily."-Luther (against the 
"fanatics." T. xix. p, 417). "\Yhat then forms the specific differ- 
ence of the Eucharist J Eating and drirrking. ...
part from the 
SacraInent, God is partaken of spiritually; in the Sacralnent he is 
partaken of materially, i. e., he is eaten and drunken, assimilated 
Ly the body. But how couldst thou receive God into thy body, if 
it were in thy esteem an organ unworthy of Goc11 Dost thou pour 
.wine into a water-cask'? Dost thou not declare thy hands antI lips 
holy, when by means of thenl thou comest in contact with the Holy 
One 1 Thus if God is eaten anrl drunken, eating and thinking is 
declared to be a divine act; and this is ,vhat the Eucharist ex- 
presses, though in a self-contradictory, mystical, covert nlanner. 
But it is our task to express the mystery of religion, openly and 
honuurably, clearly anò definitely. Life is God
' tlte el1Joy.ment of 
lijè is the enjuyn#Jent of God; tfJ'ue bliss in life is true 'relig'ion. But 
to the enjoynlent of life belongs the enjoyment of eating and 
drinking. If therefore life in general is holy, eating and drinking 
Inust be holy. Is this an irreligious creed 1 Let it be relnelnbered 
that tIris irreligion is the analyzed, unfolded, unequivocally ex- 
pre:ssed mystery of religion itself. All the mysteries of religion 
ultimately re
olve thenlselves, as we have shown, into the nlystery 
of heavenly hliss. But heavenly bliss is nothing else than happiness 
freed frOln the limits of reality. The Christians have happiness for 
their oùject just as InllCh as the heathens; the only difference is, 
that the heatr.ens place heaven on earth, the Christians place earth 
in heaven. 'Yhatever is, whatever is really enjoyed, is finite; that 
,yhich is not, which is believeù in and hoped for, is infinite. 



 21. 


The Ohristian treZ(r;ion is a contrruliction. It is at once the re- 
conciliation and tlte dÙnlnion, the unity and the oppmiition of God 
and 'IJlan. Tlâs contradiction is personified in tIte God-lllan. :PIte 



APPENDIX. 


333 


unit.v of tlte Godhead and manhood is at once a f1 9 uth and an untruth. 
'Ve have already maintained that if Christ 'vas God, if he was at 
once Ulan and another being conceiveLl as incapable of suffering, 
his suffering was an ill usion. For Lis suffering as man was no 
suffering to hinl as God, No! what he acknowledged as man he 
denied as God. !-le suffered only outwardly, not inwardly; i. e., 
he suffered only apparently, not really; for he was man only in 
appearance, in form, in the external; in truth, in essence, in which 
alone he was an ohject to the believer, he was God. It would have 
been true suffering only ifhe had suffered as God also. 'Vhat he did 
not expei'ience in his nature as God, he did not experience in 
truth, in substance. AUf I, increùible as it is, the Christians them- 
selves half directly, half indirectly, admit that their highest, 
holiest mystery is only an illusion, a simulation. This simulation 
indeed lies at the foundation of the thoroughly unhistorical, * 
theatrical, illusory Gospel of John. One instance, anlong others, 
in which this is especially evident, is the resurrection of Lazarus, 
where the omnipotent arbiter of life and death evidently sheds 
tears only in ostentation of his manhood, and expressly says: 
"Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard nle, and I know tbat 
thou hearest rue always, but for the sake of the people who stand 
round 1 said it, that they may believe in thee." The simulation 
thus indicated in the Gospel has been developed by the Church 
into avowed delusion. "Si credas susceptioncm corporis, adjungas 
divinitc(;tis c07npn8sionmn, portionem utique perfidiae, non perfidianl 
declinasti. Credis enim, quod tibi prodesse praesumis, non credis 
quod Deo dignunl est. ...... Ielenl enim patiebatur et non patiebatur. 
... .. .Patiebatur secundulll corporis susceptionem, ut s'llsCf'pti corporis 
veritas crJ o edel'etur et non patieLatur secundum verbi inlpassibilem 
divinitatelll. ,..... Erat igitur inlmortalis in morte, impassibilis in 
passione.... . ., Cur divinit((;ti attriLuis aerumnas corporis et infirnlunl 
doloris hUlllanidivinae connectis naturae ?"-Ambrosius(de incarnat. 
donÜn. sacI'. cc. 4, .5). " Juxta honlÏnis naturanl proficiebat sapien- 
tia, non quod ipse sapientior esset ex tenlpore.... ..sed eandenl, qua 
plenus erat, Rapientianl caeteri:-.; ex tempore paulatim de71wnstrabat. 
...... In aliis.ergo non in se proficiebat sapientia et gratia."-Gre- 
gorius in homi1. quadam (ap. Petrus Lomb. 1. iii. dist. 13, c. 1). 
"Proficiebat ergo humanus sensus in eo secund
lJn ostensione'lJiJ et 
cdioruln hominunl opiniune71
. Ita euinl patrem et lllatrem dicitur 
ignorasse in infantia, quia ita se gereb((;[ et hnbebat ac si agnitionis 


* On this subject I refer to LÜtzelberger's work: "Die Kirchliche Tradition Über 
den Apostel Johannes und seine Schriften in ihrer Grundlosigkeit nachgewiesen," 
ancl to Bruno Bauer's "Kritik der Evangelischen Geschichte del' Synoptiker 
und des Johannes." (B. üi.) 



334 


APPENDIX. 


expers esset."-Petrus L. (ibid. c. 2.) "Ut homo ergo dubitat, ut 
homo locutus est."-Ambrosius. "His verbis innui videtur, quod 
Christus non in quantum Deus vel Dei filius, sed inquantum honlO 
dubitaverit affectu hurnano. Quod ea ratione dictum accipi potest: 
non quod ipse duhitaverit, sed quod rnodunL gessit dubitantis et 
hon1ÏniLus dubitare yidebatur."-Petrus L. (ibid. dist. 17, c. 2.) 
In the first part of the present ,york we have exhibited the truth, 
in the second part the untruth of religion, or rathei
 of theology. 
The truth is only the identity of God and man. Religion is truth 
only when it affirnls hlunan attributes as divine, falsehood when, in 
the form of theology, it denies these attributes, separating God 
from nlan as a different being. Thus, in the first part we had to 
show the truth of God's suffering; here we have the proof of its 
untruth, and not a proof which lies in our own subjective view, but 
an objective proof-the admission of theology itself, that its highest 
mystery, the Passion of God, is only a deception, an illusion. It is 
therefore in the highest degree uncritical, untruthful and arbitrary, 
to explain the Christia,n religion, as speculative philosophy has 
done, only as the religion of reconciliation bet\veen God and man, 
and not also as the religion of disunion between the Divine and 
human nature,-to find in the God-lVlan only the unity, and not abo 
the contradiction of the divine and human nature. Christ suffered 
only as man, not as God. Capability of suffering is the sign of real 
humanity. It was not as God that he was born, that he increa
ed 
in wisdom, and was crucified; i. e., all human conditions remained 
foreign to him as God. "Si quis non confitetur proprie et vere sub- 
stantialenl differentianl naturarum post ineffabilml1 unionenl, ex 
quibus unus et solus extitit Christus, in ea salvatam, sit con- 
delnnatus,"-Concil. Later. I. can. 7. (Carranza,) The divine 
nature, notwithstanding the position that Christ ,vas at once God 
and man, is just as much dissevered from the hunlan nature in the 
Incarnation as before it, since each nature excludes the conditions 
of the other, although both are united in one personality, in an in- 
comprehensible, miraculous, i. e., untrue nlal1ner, in contradiction 
with the relation in .which, according to their definition, they stand 
to each other. Even the Lutherans, nay Luther hinl
elf, however 
strongly he expresses himself concerning the conll11unity and union 
of the human and divine nature in Christ, does not escape from the 
irreconcilable division between them. "God is man, and man is 
God, but thereby neither the natures nor their attributes are con- 
founded, but each nature retains its essence and attributes." "The 
Son of God hiInselfhas truly suffered, and truly died, but according 
to the hUlllan nature which he had assulned; for the divine nature 
can neither suffer nor die." "It is truly said, the Son of God 
suffers. For although the one part (so to spèak), as the Godhead, 



APPENDIX. 


335 


does not suffer, still the Person who is God suffers in the other 
half, the manhood; for in truth the Son of God was crucified for 
us, that is, the Person who is God; for the Person is crucified 
according to his nlanhood." " It is the person that does and suffers 
all, one thing according to this nature, another according to that 
nature, all which the learneù well know." (Concordienb. Erklnr. 
art. 8.) "The Son of God and God himself is killed and 
nlul'dered, for God and Ulan is one Person. Therefore God ,vas 
crucified, and died, and becmne man; not God apart frolll 
humanity, but united with it; not according to the Godhead, but 
accorùing to the human nature which he had assulned."-Luther 
(T. iii. p. 502). Thus only in the Person, i. e., only in a n07nen 
proprÍl17n, not in ebsence, not in truth, are the two natures united. 
"Quando dicitur: Deus eHt h01no vel homo est Deus, propositio 
ejuslllodi vocatur personalis. Ratio est, quia unioneIu personalenl 
in Chri
to supponit. Sine tali enim naturarum in Christo unioue 
nunquam dicere potuissem, Deum esse honlinem aut hon1Ïnem esse 
Deum. ...... Abstracta autem naturae de se invicem enuntiari non 
pos
e, longe est manifestissinnun. ...... Dicere itaque non licet, 
divina natura est hUlnana aut deitas est humanitas et vice versa." 
J. F. Buddeus (Comp. lnst. Theol. dogln. 1. iv, c. ii, 
 11). Thus 
the union of the divine and hunlan natures in the Incarnation is 
only a deception, an illusion. The old dissidence of God and man 
lies at the foundation of this dogma also, and operates all the more 
injuriously, is all the more odious, that it conceals itself behind thf' 
appearance, the ilnagination of unity. Hence Socinianism, far 
froln being superficial when it denied the Trinity and the God-l\Ian, 
was only consistent, only truthful. God was a triune being, and 
yet he was to be held purely simple, absolute unity, an ens 
sirnplicissimu1n
. thus the Unity contradicted the Trinity. God was 
God-l\lan, and yet the Godhead was not to IJe touched or annulled 
hy the nlanhood, i. e., it ,vas to be essentially distinct j thus the 
incompatibility of the Divine and hunutn attributes contradicted 
the unity of the two natures, According to this, we have in the 
very idea of the Gocl-l\Ian the arch-enemy of the God-l\lan,- 
rotionalisTn, blended, ho-wever, with its opposite-mysticism. Thus 
Sociniani::;m only denied what faith itself denied, and yet, in con- 
tradiction with itself, at the sanle tÏ1ne affirmed j it only denied a 
contradiction, an untruth. 
Nevertheless the Christians have celebrated the Incarnation as a 
work of love, as a self-renunciation of God, an abnegation of his 
majesty-.A'lìwr trirwJnplutt de Deo,. for the love of God is an 
empty word, if it is understood as a real abolition of the distinction 
between Him and man. Thus we have, in the very central point of 
ChriRtianity, the contradiction of Faith and Love developed in the 



336 


APPENDIX. 


close of the present ,york. Faith Dlakes the suffering of God a 
mere appearance, love makes it a truth. Onl y on the truth of the 
suffering rests the true po
itive Ï1npression of the Incarnation. 
Strongly, then, as we have insisted on the contradiction and division 
between the divine and the hunlan nature in the God-l\lan, we 
must equally insist on their community and unity, in virtue of 
,vhich God is really nlan and luan is really God. Here then ,ve 
have the irrefragal,le and striking proof that the central point, the 
supreme object of Christianity, is nothing el
e than 1ì
an, that Chris- 
tians adore the hUJuan individual as God, and God as the hunu
n 
indi vid ua1. "This man born of the Virgin l\lary is God himself, 
who has created heaven and earth."-Luther (T. ii. p. 671.) " I 
point to the man Christ and say: that is the son of God."-(T. xix. 
p. 594.) "To give life, to have all po,ver in heaven and earth, to 
have all things in his hands, all things put under his feet, to purify 
from sin, and so on, are divine, infinite attributes ,vhich, according 
to the declaration of the IIoly Scriptures, are given and imparted 
to the Ulan Christ." "Therefore we believe, teach, and confegs 
that the Son of man..... .now not only as God, but also as man, 
knows all things, can do all things, is present ,vith all creatures." 
"\tVe reject and condenln the doctrine that he (the Son of 9-od) is 
not capable according to ltis human nature of omnipotence and other 
attributes of the divine nature." (Concordienb. Sununar. Begr. u. 
Erklär. art. 8.) " U nde et sponte sua fluit, Christo etiml1 qua 
l
ulnanam n(ftufran
 spectato cultu71
 relig.iosu.m debmoi."-Buddeus 
(1. c. 1. iv. c. ii. 
 17). The same is expressly taught by the 
Fathers and the Catholics, e. g. "Eadenl (td01oatione aduranda in 
Christo e
t divinitas et ln17nanitas ...,.. Divinitas intrinsece inest 
hunlanitati per unioncr}} hypostaticanl: ergo kurnanitas Christi seu 
Christus ut lWlìw potest adorari absoluto cultu latriae."-Theol. 
Schol. (sec, ThOlnanl Aq. P. l\Ietzger, iv. p. 1
4.) It is certainly 
said, that it is not man, not flesh and blood by itself which is wor- 
shipped, but the flesh united with God, so that the cultus applies 
not to the flesh, or man, but to God. But it is here as ,vith the 
,vorship of saints and images. As the saint is adored in the image, 
and God in the saint, only because the image and the saint are thenl- 
selves adored, so God is ,vorshipped in the human body, only be- 
cause the Inunan flesh is itself worshipped, God becOllles flesh, 
man, because Ulan is in truth already God. How could it enter 
into thy nlÌnd to bring the hunlan flesh into so close a relation and 
contact .with God, ifit were sOlnething impure, degrading, unworthy 
of God 
 If the value, the dignity of the hUlllan flesh does not lie 
in itself, why dost thou not nlake other flesh-the fle
h of brutes, 
the habitation of the divine spirit 1 True, it is said: l\Ian is only 
the organ, in, .with and by which the Godhead works, as the soul in 



APPENDIX, 


337 


the body. Bnt this pretext also is refnte(l by ,vhat has been said 
above. God chose luan as his organ, his hody, because only in 
lnan did he find an organ ,vorthy of him, suitable, pleasing to him. 
If the nature of nlan is indifferent, why did not Goel becollle incar- 
nate in a brute 
 Thus God COlues into nlan only out of man. 
The nlanifestation of God in luan is only a manifestation of the 
divinity and glory of man. "N oscitur ex alio, qui Hon cognoscitur 
ex se"-this trivial saying is applicable here. God is known through 
nlan, whom he honours with his personal presence and ind ,-veIling, 
and known as a hunlan being, for ,vhat anyone prefers, selects, 
loves, is his objective nat1Æïe,. and Juan is known through God, and 
kno,Vll as a divine being, for only that ,vhich is worthy of God, 
,vhich is divine, can be the object, organ and habitation of God. 
True, it is further said: it is J esns Christ alone, ånd no other nlan, 
who is worshipped as God. But tIlls argunlent also is idle and 
enlpty. Christ is indeed one only, but he is one who represents all. 
He is a man as "\ve are, " our brother, and we are flesh of his flesh 
and bone of his bone." "In Jesus Christ our Lord eyery one of us 
is a portion of flesh and blood. Therefore ,vhere nlY body is, there 
I believe that I myself reign. "
here nlY flesh is glorified, there I 
believe that I am myself glorious. Where my blooell'ules, there I 
hold that I myself rule."-Luther (T. xvi. p. .534:). This then 
is an undeniable fact: Cþristians worship the hnnlan individual 
as the snprenle being, as Goel. Not indeed consciously, for it 
is the unconsciousness of this fact "\vhich constitutes the illusion of 
the religious principle. But in this sense it may be said that the 
heathens did not worship the statues of the gods; for to them also 
the statue was not a statue, but God himself. Nevertheless they 
did worship the statue; just as Christians worship the hUlnan indi- 
'vidual, though, naturally, they will not admit it. 


;:.. 
9 
)' 

. 


J/ an is the God of Christianity, Anthropology the Jll ysle'ry (!f 
Christian Theology. The history of Christianity has had for its 
grand result the unveiling of this mystery-the realization and 
recognition of theology as anthropology. The distinction 1et"\veen 
Protestantism and Catholicism-the old Catholicism, which no"\v 
exists only in books, not in actuality-consists only in this, that 
the latter is Theology, the former Christology, ,;. e. (religious) An- 
thropology. Catholicism has a supranaturalistic, abstract God, a 
God who is other than hUJuan, a not human, a superhuman being. 
The goal of Catholic morality, likeness to God, consists therefore 
in this, to 1e not a man, but more than a man-a heavenly 
abstract being, an angel. Only in its nlorality dues the essence of 
Q 



338 


APPENDIX. 


a religion realize, reveal itself: morality alone is the criterion 
whether a religious dogma is felt as a truth, or is a nlere chimera. 
Thus the doctrine of a superhuman, supernatural God is a truth 
only where it has as its consequence a superhuman, supernatural, or 
rather antinatural morality. Protestantism, on the contrary, has 
not a supranaturalistic but a human morality, a morality of and 
for flesh and blood; consequently its God, at least its true, real 
God, is no longer an abstract, supranaturalistic being, but a being 
of flesh and blood. "This defiance the devil hears un,villingly, 
that our flesh and blood is the Son of God, yea, God hÜnself, and 
reigns in heaven over all."-Luther (T. xvi. p. 573). "Out of 
Christ there is no God, and where Christ is, there is the whole 
Godhead."-Id. (T. xix. p. 403). Catholicism has, both in theory 
and practice, a God who, in spite of the predicate of love, exists 
for hÜnself, to whom therefore man only comes by being against 
hÜnself, denying himself, renouncing his existence for self; Pro- 
testantism, on the contrary, has a God who, at least practically, 
virtually, has not an existence for hinlself, but exists only for 
man, for the ,velfare of man. Hence in Catholicism the highest 
act of the cultus, "the mass of Christ," is a sacrifice of man,- 
the same Chrißt, the same flesh and blood, is sacrificed to God 
in the Host as on the cross; in Protestantism, on the contrary, 
it is a sacrifice, a gift, of Goel: God sacrifices himself, surrenders 
himself to be partaken by nlan.-See Luther, e. g. (T. xx. p. 259. 
T. xvii. p. 529.) In Catholicism manhood is the property, the 
predicate of the Godhead (of Christ )-God is man; in Protes- 
tantism, on the contrary, Godhead is the property, the pre- 
dicate of Inanhood (Christ)-man is God. "This, in tinle past, 
the greatest theologians have done-they have fled from the 
manhood of ChriRt to his Godhead, and attached themselves 
to that alone, and thought that ,ve should not kno,v the 
manhood of Christ. But ,ve must so rise to the Godhead of 
Christ, and hold by it in such a way, as not to forsake the manhood 
of Christ and come to the Godhead alone. Thou shouldst know of 
no God, nor Son of Goel, save him who ,vas born of the Virgin 
l\Iary and became man. He ,vho receives his manhood has also 
his Godhead."-Luther (T. ix, pp. 592,598).* Or, briefly thus: in 
Catholicism, man exists for God; in ProtestantisDl, God exists for 
Ulan. t " Jesus Christ our Lord was conceiveù for us, born for 


* In another place Luther praises St. Bernard and Bonaventura, because they 
laid so much stress on the manhood of Christ. 
t It is true that in Catholicism also-in Christianity generally, God exists for 
man; but it was Protes
'tntism which first drew from this relativity of God its true 
l'esult-the absoluteness of man. 



APFEXDIX. 


339 


us, suffered for us, was crucified, died and ,vas buried for us. 
Our Lord rose from the dead for our consolation, sits for our good 
at the right hand of the AlnÜghty Father, and is to judge the living 
and the dead for our comfort. This the holy Apostles and beloved 
Fathers intended to intimate in their confession by the 'words: Us 
and our Lord-namely, that Jesus Christ is ours, whose office and 
,vill it is to help us . . . . so that we should not read or speak the 
,vords coldly, and interpret them only of Christ, but of ourselves 
also."-Luther (T. xvi. p. 538). "I know of no God but him 
who gave himself for me. Is not that a great thing that God is 
lnan, that God gives himself to man and will be his, as man gives 
himself to his wife and is hers
 But if God is ours, all things are 
ours." (T. xii. p. 283.) "God cannot 1e a God of the dead, who 
are nothing, but is a God of the living. If God were a God of the 
dead, he 'would be as a husband who had no wife, or as a father 
who had no son, or as a master ,vho had no servant. For if he is 
a husband, he must have a wife. If he is a father, he must have 
a son. If he is a master, he must have a servant. Or he ,vould 
be a fictitious father, a fictitious master, that is, nothing. God is 
not a God like the idols of the heathens, neither is he an inlaginary 
God, ,vho exists for himself alone, and has none who call upon 
him and worship him. A God is He from whom everything 
is to be expected and received. . . . . If he were God for himself 
alone in heaven, and we had no good to rely on from him, he 
would be a God of stone or straw. . . .. If he sat alone in 
heaven like a clod, he would not be God." (T. xvi. p. 465.) 
" God says: I the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth am thy 
God. . . . To be a God means to redeem us from all evil and 
trouble that oppresses us, as sin, hell, death, &c." (T. ii. p. 327.) 
" All the world calls that a God, in whom man trusts in need and 
danger, on whom he relies, from whom all good is to be had and 
who can help. Thus reason describes God, that he affords help to 
man, and does good to hÌlll, bestows benefits upon him. This 
thou seest also in this text: 'I am the Lord thy God, who brought 
thee out of the land of Egypt.' There we are taught ,vhat God is, 
what is his nature, and ,vhat are his attributes,-namely, that he 
does good, delivers from dangers, and helps out of trouble and all 
cabnÜties." (T. iv. pp. 236, 237.) But if God is a living, i. e., real 
God, is God in general, only in virtue of this-that he is a God to 
man, a being who is useftù, good, beneficent to man; then, in truth, 
man is the criterion, the measure of God, man is the absolute, 
divine being. The proposition: A God existing only for himself is no 
God-Ineans nothing else than that God ,vithout man is not God; 
where there is no Ulan there is no God; if thou takest from God the 
predicate of humanity, thou takest from him the predicate of 



340 


APPENDIX. 


deity; if his relation to nlan is done away with, so also is his 
existence. 
Nevertheless Protestantism, at least in theory, has retained in 
the background of this human God the old supranatural
stic God. 
Protestantism is the contradiction of theory and practice; it has 
enlallcipated the flesh, but not the reason. According to Protes- 
tantism, Christianity, i. e., God, does not contradict the natural 
impulses of man :-" Therefore, we ought now to know, that God 
does not cov.denln or abolish the natural tendency in man, which 
was implanted in N atlJre at the creation, but that he awakens and 
preserves it."-Luther (T. iii. p. 290). But it contradicts reason 
and is therefore, theoretically, only an object of faith. "\Ve have 
shown, however, that the nature of faith, the nature of God, is 
itself nothing else than the nature of man placed out of man, con- 
ceived as external to man. The reduction of the extrahuman, 
supernatural, and anti-rational nature of God to the natural, 
imnlanent, inborn nature of man, is therefore the liberation of 
Protestantism, of Christianity in general, from its fundamental 
contradiction, the reduction of it to its truth,-the result, the 
necessary, irrepressible, irrefragable result of Christianity. 


THE END. 



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